This is Part 1 of a 2-part series on how parents can get more involved in a course of therapy, to get better outcomes at no extra cost. To get straight to the specific, actionable tips, read Part 2 here.
Have you ever noticed how you’ll see a mother – daughter couple who gesture with their hands in exactly the same way when they talk? Or a father and son who both like to tip their hats *just so*?
Or my favourite – how kids so readily pick up that ONE word we wish they hadn’t heard?
Like it or not, kids learn a lot from their parents. As healthcare professionals, we acknowledge that! And that is why you, yes *you* parents, are the change makers when it comes to your child’s therapy.
Back in the day, the mindset of both professionals and parents alike was often along the lines of “Let’s schedule this child in for therapy once a week, to help them work on their difficulties.” Did this result in change? Most often, yes. Is it ideal? No.
More and more in healthcare we are seeing a push towards parent involvement, and even parent-delivered therapy. Increasing amounts of research are coming out supporting the effectiveness of this model of healthcare delivery. Parents (and/or as is often the case in HK, grandparents or helpers) are the ones who children see every day. They are the ones who the children care about. And in the end, they are the ones who are able to support, reinforce, and encourage their children’s goals through collaborating with the professionals and having a go.
The other side of this coin is that parent involvement has the potential to speed up the therapy process. Rather than one hour of therapy per week, you have the potential to double or triple this number, through no extra digging in the pockets.
Sounds good, right?
So parents, here is my challenge for you. Be brave. Step up and get involved. Because you, yes *you*, parents, are the change makers.
I’m sold. But HOW can I get involved?
Questions about your child’s speech development?
Ask me a question in the comments below, or send me a private message on my Facebook Page, and I’ll try my best to get back to you with an answer!
Imogen Dean is a Speech-language Pathologist at IntegrateHK. She has experience working with children and teenagers in both school and clinic settings, addressing issues related to speech production, language development, social skills, fluency, feeding, and voice. Imogen is also certified in the Hanen Centre’s ‘It Takes Two to Talk’ program, for parents of late talking children.