As part of my work with families at Le Chemin ABA Learning House, I help each family set up a home program. Children work on various skills in private, and small group sessions, at my learning center and they participate in small, organized sessions at home under my supervision.
When starting a home program for your child, there are many things to consider.
Who will work with my child? This can be one person or a combination of people. I am currently coaching moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, family friends, students and home therapists to carry out 1:1 home sessions.
Where will the sessions take place? You don’t have to have a separate room available for your home sessions. If you have the extra space, that’s great! If not, it’s still possible to create a wonderful space in a room in your home where fun and effective therapy will take place. I am currently working with families that have created a separate therapy room for their child. I am also coaching families who have created a “therapy corner” in their living rooms, dining rooms, the child’s bedroom, a part of an exisiting play room and even in a long hallway! The possibilities are endless and limited space should never keep you from creating an awesome home program for your child.
“No progress is too small, every little bit counts and will equal a better future for your child and your whole family.“
What will I teach? What you decide to teach will depend on your child’s current skills and upcoming goals. As long as your program is based on making learning fun, with specific educational goals and clear, data-based, results, you should be able to create something great for your child. A well-rounded program includes learning goals in the following areas : functional communication, play (independent and social), fine motor skills, gross motor skills, imitation, sensory play, sibling relationships, family activities and functional living skills (toilet training, feeding, brushing teeth, etc.). Programs may also include working on specific academic skills such as reading and writing. Your program should always be based on your child’s evolving specific needs. If you are interested in working with me from a distance or in Paris, you can contact me on my learning house website in English or in French to learn more.
How will I ever find the time? Hopefully, each parent is planning to spend at least a little time engaging with their child each day. It is not necessary to spend 40 hours per week conducting 1:1 sessions with your child to see results. If you spend 10 minutes per day interacting with your child in an organized way, meaning you have a specific goal for that period of interaction and a clear way to measure progress, you will create results. Every little bit counts! Choose a goal and stick to it – even if that goal is playing with your child each evening for 10 minutes to work towards your program goals.
What kind of progress can I expect? Each child is different and will respond to a therapeutic home program differently. However, each child is also able to progress. Just as we have the ability to learn something new each moment of every day, so does a child with special needs. The time and energy you put in to engaging your child in organized learning, will directly impact their progress. No progress is too small, ever little bit counts and will equal a better future for your child and your whole family.
If you have a home program in place, or have been thinking about starting one, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!
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