This is simply another way we help engage children. This is exactly similar to what we do in face to face therapy.
The reason why we use parent coaching and involve parents, is to help with progress because like we have when we do a physio and we have to do the exercises at home, if you don’t do your exercises, you’re not going to see the progress over time. Speech and language therapy is the same.
We can’t see that same progress by just doing a therapy session for a half an hour a week, or half an hour every two weeks. We’re going to see the progress by the practice being done at home every day. And the only person who can help with that daily practice is the parent.
So why do we need the parent to help engage the child?
The difference with face to face, and online therapy, is a parent is going to be our eyes and our hands to help make this as engaging and as fun as possible. Now we, as speech and language therapists, help the parent prepare for that. We might tell them what kind of activities to prepare for the session. We might prepare water play activity for young children to really engage them in a fun activity they like to do at home. That will be on the floor, maybe in the kitchen, protecting the floor with some towels and a bowl, and then we’re going to have lots of fun together. And then the therapist coaches the parent through what kind of things they can talk about, and how they can work on the goals that was identified to work on this child’s speech and language goals along with the parent.
Then what we do when we do parent coaching we really then help facilitate more learning by being really actively involving the parent, actively involving their child in a really fun activity. And then that way we get our progress. Speech and language therapy is not a magic wand. We really need to use everybody in that child environment to see that progress. CATTS also have online workshops that we have available for all the families we work with. And we then give our parents access to those courses, to do them in between sessions, to learn about some of the strategies we use, and also being able to view some of the video examples of maybe how to use some of those strategies.
Our parents have found that really helpful as another tool to help learn how to help support their child’s speech and language needs.