The power of routines: Why a school in Mexico collaborates with families

Why an inclusive school in Yucatan, Mexico is teaming up with families to improve the lives of students with disabilities.

Parents, teachers and children are seating around a table and working on pictograms together

Routines are inherently powerful, especially in education. They provide a sense of stability and can be crucial to a child’s learning journey.

In Mexico, Perkins’ Project Pixan, in partnership with local governments, has been working with 22 schools to provide quality education to children and youth with disabilities. Among this group of schools is the Multiple Attention Center 18 (CAM 18) in the Tekax municipality of Yucatan state. CAM 18 receives direct support from Perkins: essential guidance, training, and technical support from the Perkins-trained Education and Family Coordinators.

This work happens through the development of support groups, training, and tutoring to promote solid alliances in the public education system of the region. For parents like Gladys and her son, Manuel, who attends CAM 18, accessing these services has transformed their home routine.

Education begins at home 

One fundamental part of Project Pixan is the inclusion of families in the educational process of students with disabilities, to ensure they actively participate in the development of their children. The CAM 18 in Tekax is leading by example on how to successfully involve families in their children’s learning journey. 

Manuel and his mother, Gladys, have received varying levels of support over the years both in school and at home. Manuel began at CAM 18 in early childhood and now is developing skills to apply to jobs in the future.

Since CAM 18 focuses on true, inclusive education this means learning doesn’t end at school. They place importance on home routines and promote sample classes at students’ homes. This allows families and their children to learn more about the unique contexts of each student in their personal spaces. 

CAM 18 promotes sample classes at each families’ home to learn more about the specific contexts of students in their personal spaces. With the presence of the communication teacher, psychologist, and social worker, the professionals work to model consolidated habits in the academic context.

The home visit activity is planned as part of the students’ evaluation process, and it’s carried out at the students home to encourage more involvement by the family members. The teachers use action plan tools as a form to plan the students’ future, taking into consideration the ages of the students that participate.

Using the action plan approach allows for the collection of information on the students and their families in a dynamic and participative way about their dreams, wishes, fears, and preferences. This process results in the creation of an intervention plan with established goals between the schools and the families of the students.

“Ideally all of the students should be visited by their teachers and the support staff to carry out the functional evaluations, but currently, the focus is on the students that face the greatest challenges.”

– Dr. Emelia Hernández Payán, Perkins Education Coordinator in Yucatán, México

Creating routines for every student

Dr. Emelia also adds that the main objective is for families to discover the opportunities for each student. While a child undergoes their evaluation, an intervention plan is designed simultaneously according to what the family expects the child to learn through establishing goals, concrete actions, and routines.

Halfway through the school year, more than 9 families have received a visit from the teachers and staff at CAM 18. This initiative shows that great collaboration between family members, educators, and other professionals can benefit the well being and development of children and youth with disabilities to fully unlock their opportunities. 

Gladys and her son, Manuel smile brightly against a blue wall with photos of other students and their families. Gladys wears a a blue shirt with a sunflower pattern. Manuel wears a yellow shirt.

Gladys, whose son Manuel has cerebral palsy, is so happy to have access to the team of educators and specialists at CAM 18.

Gladys and her family have received academic, psychological, and physical support and although she has learned the road is not easy, she is grateful to all of those who have been there for her and her son. Through the power of routines Gladys gained a new perspective on how to care for Manuel.

The home visits with the teachers help us get to know our children better, with a closer look at how they behave at home, and I thank them for the support that we have received.

Gladys, Manuel’s mom
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