In my work with parents of children with ASD and other learning challenges, I often hear the following: “I feel like I am walking on eggshells. I worry that whatever I will do next, will set my child off”. Since parents often think that challenging behaviors might be unpredictable, they might find themselves avoiding placing demands or confrontations to prevent their children from exhibiting an explosive challenging behavior.
I work closely with parents and caregivers and coach them on strategies for decreasing children’s maladaptive behaviors and increasing desired skills. Parents and caregivers play a key role in changing our children’s behavior, therefore, our service emphasizes the importance of providing parent training, since, at the end of the day, they are the ones spending the most time with their children.
Behavioral therapy and parent training are crucial for increasing adaptive and desired skills during the early years. Small changes in parents’ behavior have a profound effect on children’s learning and communication skills. The first thing I do when walking into someone’s home is to learn about parent-child interactions and available resources at home that affect children’s progress. This initial assessment allows parents to make small changes that will immediately have a positive effect.