MY GUIDE > Create a Portfolio to Help Others Understand Your Child

KEYWORDS: age 1 up to age 3age 3 through 5newborn up to age 1organizingtips and strategies

Capture, save and track information

Portfolios are a great way to capture information about a child, and a way to save and track information over time. Portfolios can document milestones and progress, and provide your Admission, Review and Dismissal/ Individualized Education Program  (ARD/IEP)  team with information to help support your child’s learning. Teachers can make portfolios to help document children’s growth, or by a parent, who wants to share important information that would be helpful for caregivers and teachers to know.

Especially when our children are little, or have limited communication, these tools can be used to share important information to help your child succeed and be understood as an individual.

Another approach is to create an “All About Me” book, geared toward introducing your child to other children. In this book, keep language simple and age appropriate.

What to include in a portfolio

There is no right or wrong way to create a portfolio. Parents and teachers can help document a child's development by:

  • Using pictures
  • Making brief notes about specific accomplishments
  • Collecting samples of artwork and writing
  • Writing down things the child says.
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What to include in an “All About Me” book

The All About Me book should have two sections; the first should present the material to share with other children; the second section should be mostly for adults, such as the parents of your child’s friends. One idea is to organize the info to present a day or a week in the life of your child.

What to include in the first section:

  • Basic info about your child, including his name and age
  • Lists of his favorite foods, toys and activities, paired with pictures of those things
  • Pictures of him playing at the park, with a friend or family member, reading with an adult, or grocery shopping; pick things that everyone can relate to, as well as things that are special to him (a picture on a therapy ball, a communication book)
  • A baby photo and a current photo to show he is ready for school

What to include in the second section:

  • Family background and information
  • Educational history
  • Food allergies/medications
  • Artwork
  • Your vision about what you want your child to accomplish
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Here is a sample outline to help put together a portfolio, available from  ConnectABILITY,  a website that has resources for people with a developmental disability and their support networks.