And 1 totally valid, very important request
We know it takes a village and are honored to be part of yours! We recognize how difficult parenthood can be. As a new parent myself, I have been completely humbled by the sheer volume of tasks, considerations, worries, and joys that are just commonplace in parenting in today's world. Parents of children with disabilities have the added layer of navigating the plethora of information (and at times, misinformation) regarding available services, treatments, therapies, and more that their child might benefit from. It. is. a. LOT., and not for the faint of heart.
If you are here, we are hoping that you are either already partnered with service providers or are interested in seeking services. Congratulations on taking that first step toward getting support for not only your child/young adult, but for your entire family. You might be interested in working with a BCBA, SLP, OT, PT, or mental health counselor. No matter the service, we providers crave your feedback and collaboration. Questions and requests are welcomed and allow us to tailor our approach to fit your child and family's needs with greater precision. Targeted questions also allow you to advocate for what YOU need out of the therapeutic relationship. We know that therapy for a few hours a week is helpful, but you are the parent of a child with a disability 24/7. Check out our recommended top questions (and a request) to ask your service providers.
Top 6 Questions to Ask your Service Provider:
1) What are the top three skills we are working on right now?
Service providers are laser focused on delivering therapy and sometimes forget to loop parents in on the skills that are being worked on. You are completely within your right to ask for frequent check in's to find out what is being worked on and how.
2) What are the long term goals of therapy?
Ideally, this question should be answered before, during, and after service delivery. The goal of therapy should ALWAYS be for the client and family to learn socially significant skills that will make a positive, lasting impact on their lives. Client goals should also be individualized to meet the client's and family's needs and hopes for the future.
3) How will the skills he/she learns today help him/her tomorrow?
This question goes hand in hand with long term goals, but really gets at the heart of significance. We teach skills that should have a lasting, life long positive impact on the individual learner and his or her family. Whether skills are rooted in communication, play and leisure, daily living, or behavior, we should always be striving for greater independence that leads to a happier, more fulfilling life.
4) How do we know if he/she is making progress?
Data and analysis are at the heart of all service delivery, no matter the discipline. The best laid plans sometimes need to be altered. Ask your provider to share their data collection systems and process for progress monitoring to ensure your child is getting the most out of their therapies.
5) How can I work on target skills at home?
Parent collaboration is vital to success in therapies. Ask your service provider for how to's to carry over interventions to home.
6) What questions do you have for me?
We love it when parents open the door for dialogue. We know that you are the expert on your child and we have a lot to learn from you!
... and An Important Request
Will you show me how to work on this at home?
Parent training and support, especially in successful interventions and strategies, is critical to continued practice and generalizing new skills across different people and settings. At Beyond Behavior, we believe that parents should be empowered with evidence based techniques that work for their child and family structure. Learning from and practicing with your service providers is a great way to potentially accelerate learner progress and add to the family's long term toolkit.
What other questions do you have for your service providers? What information do you want us to know?