Parents, We Need You
When your child gets diagnosed with Autism or a speech disorder such as Childhood Apraxia of Speech, or an articulation disorder, as a parent you enter the new world of therapists and services. This unfamiliar process of evaluations, treatment plans, and new schedules can be intimidating. Due to this unfamiliarity parents are often tempted to rely on the therapists to know what is best for their child and to "fix" the problem.
As parents you know your child best. When parents make an effort to understand their child's diagnosis they become an active part of their intervention. Research shows that parents’ active participation in their child’s therapy services makes an incredible difference. Here are few things you can do to help your child's success.
Observe your child's therapy session:
Sit in their session and watch how the therapist works on their goals. This way you can ask questions and carry over activities and strategies they use in therapy in your home setting. Sitting in on the session also allows you to share information with the therapist about your child's preferences and personality. Information from parents helps therapists provide effective therapy.
Practice at home:
Given the number of hours that are spent at home with parents, versus the therapist, opportunities for practice multiply. Repetition and consistent practice is key to your child achieving their goals. For example, the therapist can practice "go" in the session with toy cars, and wind up toys, however the opportunities in the natural setting are much greater: (go to bed, go in the car, go to school, go potty, go up stairs, go to the park). The target word can be used many times during the day and generalized in the "real word" where your child can experience the power of using their voice.
Parents often rely on the therapists to be the expert, however you are the expert when it comes to your child. Ask questions about goals and give input as to what goals are important to you and your family. Parents who are involved in the therapy process are more likely to feel comfortable giving valuable feedback to the therapist. As parents we want therapy to be effective, if you have any doubts or questions, voice them, you are the expert when it comes to your child.
In addition to parent involvement, you can ask your therapists to collaborate with each other, have your ABA therapist sit in on a speech session or occupational therapy session and vice versa. This allows your therapist to be on the same page, share goals, and collaborate on the best ways to prove effective therapy for your child.
We love our clients and do everything we can to provide them effective therapy, but family support is irreplaceable in your child's journey to success!