The parent-child relationship is a life-long journey of learning and training. This is even more accurate when you are a parent of a child with special needs. At Steinberg Behavior Solutions, we understand the unique responsibilities. That’s why we offer the parents of children receiving Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, an opportunity to partake in our parent training programs. By providing tools and strategies, our programs empower parents and allow their children, our students the opportunity to thrive in their own environment.
Frequently, when children begin ABA therapy, their parents report feeling ill-equipped in responding to their child’s various negative behaviors. They don’t understand how to promote and encourage the positive skills their children have learned through therapy. Our parent training, teaches them why specific behaviors occur and how to effectively respond to their children.
Once that foundation is established, the parents are then taught tools and strategies to confidently respond to their child’s actions and reactions. Naturally, this allows parents to feel empowered. For some parents, this is the first time they‘re able to effectively decrease negative or maladaptive behavior from their children. Furthermore, our parent training helps them encourage and reinforce the positive behaviors and skills they would like from their child. The adults learn how to encourage their children to use more expressive language, to follow parent directions and to support their learning of daily living tasks. After all, it is the parents who are with their child on a day-to-day basis, not the therapists. Also, the training provides its participants a greater understanding of the scope and effectiveness of ABA therapy Therefore, if the adults can understand how to support the learning away from therapy, their children will grasp these techniques much more rapidly.
It is crucial that parents and the ABA therapy team work together to help promote better generalization. This means that once the parents have the tools, strategies, and the understanding of ABA principles, the child will understand that the expectations for their behavior remain the same regardless if the parents or therapy team are present. Often the result is the children grasp the techniques more rapidly, thereby leading to more progress in their natural environment, home.
Parent training is an invaluable tool for both the family and therapy team when working with a special needs child. There is no manual when a new parent leaves the hospital with their baby. This is even more accurate when you have a child with special needs. Our BCBA’s must undergo years of advanced post-secondary education to develop the skills and knowledge required to help children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. It is this unique combination of highly-specialized training that is passed on to our parents. The goal is to provide everyone involved in the raising of a child with special needs the tools and strategies needed to see them thrive.