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Why Parent Participation Is Crucial in the Educational Therapy Process

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Introduction

Parent participation in the educational therapy process can mean a world of difference when it comes to their child’s success. 

Parenting styles and their level of engagement have a significant effect on a child’s educational outcome.

Parental Support

Educational therapists work to provide their students with a multitude of evidence-based strategies that have been proven to work.

Oftentimes, children working with an educational therapist only work on these strategies during the time they are with their therapist.

Parents should encourage their children to utilize their given strategies within the context of their day-to-day life. When a parent sees an opportunity for their child to practice, they can prompt them to use their given strategies.

This will enable the child to generalize the skills and eventually use them with independence.

If parents are not encouraging their child to practice their strategies, the child might forget about it or determine it is not important.

On the other hand, when parents stress the importance of the skills, the child will be more likely to work at it.

Parents Education About Therapies

It’s critical to teach parents the benefits of being involved in their children’s educational therapy process. There is a common misconception a parent may subscribe to.

They may believe the therapeutic relationship is only between the therapist and the student however the reality is the opposite.

Each week, an educational therapist works with students once or twice a week; however, parents are with their children the majority of the time and whatever the therapist works on with the student requires reinforcement at home.

As a result, it’s critical therapists educate parents on the methodologies used, why they work, how they work, and what to expect. The more parents understand, the more tools they have to assist their children.

Understanding Behavior

Parents must understand that they are unable to control their child’s behavior. Parents do have the ability to be a part of the process and working with their children.

Parents should reinforce strategies to help children identify and cope with their triggers.

Parents need to also work to understand their behavior. Getting upset and reacting to a child harshly will impede the child’s growth within the educational therapy process.

Parents need to control their reactions to their child’s unwanted behavior and stick with the plan developed by the educational therapist.

Perseverance

Perseverance is the ability to keep going despite obstacles and setbacks, and the willingness to change direction when necessary.

Setbacks will be a common occurrence for children undergoing educational therapy. Children will need the most support when they are experiencing hard times.

Children that feel supported will be more willing to make mistakes and get out of their comfort zone.

Parents should work to become a support system for their children and let them know that failure is going to happen. The response to failure is most important!

Recognizing Stress

Children in educational therapy will work with their therapist to understand emotion and stress. Therapists will provide strategies to the child to help them deal with triggering and stressful situations.

Therapy sessions are usually safe environments for children and even though they might practice during a session, they will need assistance in unsafe environments.

Parents will most likely be with their children during the times they experience the bulk of their stress. Parents need to recognize their child’s signals and guide them to use their learned strategies.

Times of extreme stress is when a child will be able to understand more about themselves and their experiences rather than in a safe environment.

For a better insight into the situation, parents can reflect on their child after a stressful event has occurred.

Parents can ask the child what their thoughts were and help them understand their responses. Sharing these experiences with the child’s educational therapist will be important to better understand the child and adjust the direction of treatment.

Schedule Appointment Without Child

A parent can schedule periodic meetings with their child’s therapist. This will give time for the therapist and parents to communicate and work ways for parents to reinforce skills and strategies.

Children benefit most when they know their parents are working to meet their needs and if their actions are aligned with the therapist.

Stay empowerED,
Nicole

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