Why is Parent Support Necessary for Long Lasting Benefits of Therapy?
Parental involvement and participation is vital in the development of a child’s abilities and the success of their therapy. No matter how bold this statement may seem, it is the truth – the likelihood of success is much lower when parents are not involved in their child’s therapy programs. The reason for the higher success ratio is because parents can use therapy procedures across a variety of contexts and environments, making learning for their children much more personalized.
Therapists and teachers develop therapy procedures and enforce them, but your child’s progress will be far greater with your hands-on involvement. The likelihood of long term benefits would also be higher, if you as parents are closely involved in your child’s therapy.
Here are a few things parents should consider in order to ensure long lasting benefits of therapy.
Understand the Child: As we have mentioned in earlier blog posts, every child is unique. No two children with ASD can have the exact same symptoms and they definitely cannot be treated alike. Unless you understand your child’s symptoms you cannot come up with a strong diagnosis.
Goals and Voice: The goal of any therapy should be decided upon before it begins. These goals should be clear for you, the parent, and the therapist or teacher. Additionally the tone and the message should be aligned with the goal. A unified message or approach should be adhered to.
Reinforcement: The goals act as milestones on a roadmap toward success. As parents, you need to constantly reinforce these goals to your child in a way he/she understands. Positively reinforcing them for a job well done is a good start. Additionally, you should be in constant contact with your child’s teacher or therapist to stay updated on his/her progress and the challenges he/she is facing.
While the causes and prevention methods of ASD are yet to be known, advances are being made from a treatment perspective.
Start from the very beginning: Try to be involved right from the start. Seek professional help. Often parents feel that their child is too young and hence their behavior is justified. Don’t ignore important signs. An early approach to treatment will facilitate long term success. Also, do note that using the same tone and messaging as your child’s therapist can help him/her in many ways.
Regulate their tantrums: Children with ASD can sometimes to be prone to throwing tantrums when they are placed in situations they find uncomfortable. Parents may be tempted to give in at times simply to avoid causing a scene. This is however, not a recommended method. No matter how big or small the tantrum might seem to you, always make sure you are dealing with it effectively rather than just avoiding it.
Discuss: As a parent of a child with ASD, you should always discuss his/her behavior with a behavioral analyst. You can talk about improvements you have noticed and also explain your desired goals, if you have any. Remember this is a joint process between the behavior analyst and you as a parent. Additionally, you can update them on what is happening at home.
Be patient: Always be patient and stay positive. As parents, it is important that you stay focused and patient always. Your child’s journey in terms of ASD can be challenging, but most parents also share how rewarding it is to witness their child accomplish various milestones. It is important to focus on the progress and remember that each child has his/her own pace of advancing in life.
Was this article helpful? How important do you believe your support has been in the progress of your child’s journey with ASD? Would you like to share any advice for other parents? Do let us know by commenting below.