stated, parents and professionals who are empowered have enough knowledge and
skills to get what they want for the child with disabilities. Turnbull and Turnbull
identify four components of knowledge and skills resources:
- Information. Professionals
must not only acquire state-of-the-art information for themselves, but must
use it and exchange it with the childs parents and other members of
the empowered team. There is no room in an empowered relationship for territorial
hoarding of specialized knowledge in order to demonstrate expertise.
Nurses who share specialized knowledge with parents in an understandable form
increase the parentsí empowerment.
Parents and professionals alike need to follow an effective problem-solving
approach to establish and implement plans that best meet the needs of the
child. Many times, specific systems and their laws or regulations define the
problem-solving approach. In the early intervention system, for example, the
Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) provides a structure for problem-solving.
In the school system, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) is the framework.
The IFSP and IEP processes include specific problem-solving structures that
can be incorporated into the empowerment process.
- Life management skills.
These include social support, the ability to set worries aside temporarily,
spiritual support, focusing on the positive aspects of the situation, and
professional support. Nurses who have a good working knowledge of community
resources can make appropriate referrals to parent support groups, public
or private agencies, and professionals.
- Communication skills.
Verbal, nonverbal, and written communication skills are the key to successful
here for specific Communication Skills for Partnerships