At its best and most effective, ABA therapy involves active collaboration between the therapy team, the client and the client’s family. Positive outcomes can be greatly enhanced when parents are able to take strategies that help their child during therapy and apply those same techniques at home. In today’s blog, we are going to talk about the value of parent participation.
Just as it’s the case in other aspects of therapy, parent training is an individualized process. It can take place multiple times per week, or once per month. It all depends on the family and client’s needs as well as their availability. Additionally, the format can range from conversations about the child’s progress and goals they would like to work on, to hands-on coaching where the parent actively implements therapeutic techniques under the clinician’s supervision.
Similar to how the format of parent training can vary, the content of each meeting can change based on the family or child’s needs. These parent training sessions can focus on specific procedures in a child’s behavior plan, various methods of data collection being implemented, approaches for teaching daily living skills, or even simply providing a comfortable space for parents to express what they have been struggling with most at that particular time.
Additionally, while the pandemic has created barriers to continuity of care, it has also led to new opportunities for parent involvement. With the increased accessibility and functionality of telehealth services, parents who were once unable to schedule meetings with their child’s clinician due to busy work or home schedules now have more flexibility to meet with their child’s BCBA and talk about their goals and progress.
Parent training can not only help families learn specific techniques to help at home with their children, but also better understand the root causes of their child’s behavior. When parents gain a clear understanding of how challenging behaviors serve a particular function for their child, they will be better equipped to teach more functional and appropriate alternatives.
Regardless of the format the family feels is best for them, parent involvement is always strongly encouraged, as maintaining a collaborative approach is vital to a successful therapeutic experience.
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