I have incredible respect for parents/caregivers. As an ABA therapist I have a small window into the scheduling nightmare that is organising the daily life of a child. Every day’s schedule is a game of organisational tetras!
You would think with this in mind therapists would be reasonable in our expectations of parent/caregivers when it comes to speech and language therapy targets. But, alas, that is not often the case. I am as guilty as others. It has become increasingly popular for therapists working in schools and clinics to set a number of targets for parents/caregivers to work on at home. The aim being the child acquires and generalises the new skills in their natural environment with familiar conversational partners.
I completely agree that parents/caregivers working on targets at home is a great way to generalise skills that are being learned with a therapist, it ensures the therapy is having a positive impact on the life of the child outside the therapy room and also can be very empowering for a parent/caregiver. But as therapists we are putting another to do on the ever expanding list for parents and caregivers.
There is a win win to this, therapists can continue to rely on parents to support therapy targets without burdening the to do list. Talking is part of every aspect of our daily lives, so working on speech and language targets can also become part of daily life. Over the next few weeks I will be choosing a number of language targets and showing how they can be integrated into regular household activities. If there are specific targets anyone would like activities for please feel free to contact me at any stage. Following short commands will be my first language target.