Bassett Unified parents learned how to strengthen their relationship with their children through weekly workshops that taught parenting skills and behaviors to implement at home, including how to handle tantrums and the importance of hugging their children.

Don Julian parent Nancy Castellanos shared the lessons with her husband and they both have changed their discipline methods – instead of getting frustrated and yelling over a disagreement, they talk in a calm manner with their daughters and take the time to listen to what they have to say.

“I want my children to be comfortable telling me everything, but also respect me – not be afraid of me,” Castellano said. “I didn’t feel that way before I started taking the classes.”

The Special Education (SPED) parenting program was developed to help parents learn how to promote positive behaviors for their special needs children, although the lessons could be applied by all parents.

Bassett Unified clinical therapist Edgar Ontiveros leads the workshops, providing a space for parents to discuss their challenges and successes at home.

“The most effective way to address any type of social emotional need on a child is not just working with the child, but with the parents as well,” Ontiveros said. “Whether in the capacity of parenting classes or working with parents one-on-one, it starts with the parents.”

Bassett Unified parent Maria-Elena Megia has seven children – the youngest who is an adopted son with special needs. Before, Megia did not know how to handle her son’s tantrums, which would last for 45 minutes. Once she learned the importance of showing her love through hugs, her son would calm down almost immediately after she hugged him.

“My son faced many hard situations and reactions because of his history. I took so many classes before to help him, but I couldn’t find a solution,” Megia said. “With SPED, I feel closer to all of my children and feel like I can take care of my son through any difficult situation.”

This is the first year that SPED parenting classes were held. The first semester focused on parents’ understanding their childhood, and how their parents raised them would transfer to how they parent their own children. The second semester focused on the book, “Five Love Languages,” and how to apply five different ways to display love to their children.

“Parents are our greatest partners, and the first educators to our students,” Bassett Unified Superintendent Alex Rojas said. “The District not only provides opportunities for our students to succeed, but also for our parents to be equipped with the skills to help their children reach their full potential.”


BASSETT_SPED1: More than 20 parents attended Special Education parenting workshops, where they learned parenting skills and behaviors to implement at home, such as how to handle tantrums and the importance of hugging their children.

BASSETT_SPED2: Parents provide feedback on weekly Special Education parenting workshops before having a group discussion on May 26. Parents talked about their successes and challenges in implementing different parenting exercises taught through the class.