How do I get started with Parent Coaching?
Parent Coaching is a unique therapy service that we offer. Communication development is at the heart of this developmental process provided for families. Families are guided in incremental steps to support development of communication, social engagement and dynamic thinking. Our parent coaching treatment plan is tailored to each family, but often consists of weekly videos submitted to our therapist by parents and caregivers and monthly (or bi-monthly) in-person meetings. Our communication therapist will set developmentally appropriate goals and objectives and give guidance to parents as they walk through each of the developmental steps with their child. You can contact our office at 770-817-0181, ext 117 or complete the parent questionnaire to get started.
What to Expect
Our parent coaching treatment plan incorporates the entire family unit. It can be tailored to parents of any age child. Our process meets each child and family where they are. For this reason, the path to and through parent coaching treatment may look different for each individual and family. But, here are some general steps you can expect as you begin working with us.
Before Therapy begins:
- Gather information. During our first phone call our speech therapist will discuss your concerns and reasons for seeking our help. Because this is a unique process each family is invited to attend an introductory meeting to learn more about this collaborative process at no cost to the family.
- Complete a client history. If a family decides to begin parent coaching you will complete a client history packet to prepare for the evaluation. This provides background information and valuable insight and information to our therapists.
During the Evaluation:
- Schedule Evaluation sessions. A family evaluation is conducted, involving the caregivers and the child with special needs. The evaluation activities are play based and families find them fun. This fun with a purpose is selected to help the therapist discover more about the child or teen’s strengths and challenges, as well as, parenting opportunities for each of the caregivers.
- Analyze the results. Following the evaluation sessions, your therapist will compile all of the notes, video and audio recordings that have been gathered and will analyze the results.
- Compile a comprehensive evaluation report. Your therapist will then prepare a comprehensive evaluation report detailing the specific results-both strengths and opportunities for growth.
- Meet with caregivers. A meeting to review the evaluation results will be scheduled. The report will include observations and if warranted, objectives for the child and the parents.
- Begin Parent Coaching. Our therapist will provide guidance to parents about goals and objectives for video work. A schedule might include caregivers submitting two 5-minute videos per week and a one-hour office meeting with parents and therapist once or twice a month. The therapist will provide feedback to the parents and caregivers via a webcam message following each video submission, which includes successes and next steps.
- Transition into Parent Coaching. Parent Coaching will be a new experience. It is not uncommon for parents to feel a little apprehensive about filming or even trying new activities with their child. Try not to stress about this new adventure. Parents report that soon their confidence and competence as a parent of a special needs child grows and their family is able to enjoy activities in their home and community with greater success.
- Commitment to Therapy A commitment to a slow steady path in therapy is so important. The foundations of communication are typically acquired throughout childhood -over a number of years, with constant reinforcement and opportunities to practice – and it takes time and practice to bring on new skills.
- Reviews of Goals and Objectives. Your child’s goals and objectives will be reviewed periodically and adjusted as milestones are met.
Communicating with your Therapist:
- In addition to weekly messages and office sessions, the therapist is available to our clients by phone or email for brief questions. Longer appointments with caregivers are available and will be billed accordingly.