The Importance of Parent Training
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 this month’s issue of Metro Parent, Laura Price, Assistant Clinical Director at Gateway’s Dearborn location, discusses the value of parent participation.
In the article, Price emphasizes that parent training, like other aspects of therapy, is an individualized process. It can take place once or twice per month or multiple times per week, depending on the needs and schedule of the family. The format, too, can vary from a simple conversation to a more hands-on coaching session in which the parent actively implements therapeutic techniques.
Likewise, the content of each meeting can vary according to the needs of the family. A parent training session could focus on specific procedures in a child’s behavior plan, or strategies for teaching daily living skills, or methods of data collection, or simply provide a space for parents to express what they have been struggling with most at that particular time.
Price highlights the way in which parent training can help families not only learn specific techniques, but also better understand the underlying causes of their child’s behavior. If parents can see more clearly how challenging behaviors serve a particular function for the child, they will be better equipped to teach more functional and appropriate alternatives.
Finally, Price notes that, while the pandemic has posed barriers to continuity of care, it has also opened new opportunities for parent involvement. The increased availability of telehealth services, for example, means that parents whose busy schedules may once have precluded in-person meetings now have more flexible options for connecting with their child’s therapist.
Whatever format works best for the family, involvement from parents is always welcomed and encouraged, as maintaining a collaborative approach is a key ingredient in a successful therapy experience.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this post. For more information on topics related to autism and ABA, stay tuned for upcoming blog posts and follow us on social media. Have a great weekend!