Children’s Speech Care Center prides itself as being a Family-Centered practice. This practice involves helping families to identify concerns, priorities, and resources for their child as well as including them as integral members of the intervention team (Donahue-Kilburg, 1993). We believe that the family is an essential, if not the most important, factor in enhancing the child’s communication in the context of social interactions with peers, family members and others, in various environments, such as in the home, school, and the community. Parents are encouraged to participate in every step of the therapeutic process. Through collaboration with the family, our clinicians will provide training and education that will promote speech and language practices:
- In the clinic
- At home
- In the community
- At school
By providing a treatment plan that carries over into these functional, “real-life” environments, the child and the family are adequately prepared to practice and use the skills that they learn in the clinic.
In the clinic
At Children’s Speech Care Center, we respect the family’s wishes on the extent that they want to be involved in the client’s intervention. We encourage the family to be as involved as they are comfortable. This may include simply observing a therapy session or playing an active part in delivering intervention.
We give parents the opportunity to be involved in assessments, planning meetings, therapy, and any other context, which involves the client and family. Families are the “decision makers” when it comes to creating treatment plans, which are designed to fit into the individual’s and the family’s daily routine.
For therapy to be successful, it must be tailored to the individual needs of the child and his/her family. By providing family education and training, we can implement goals and strategies that can be delivered in the home by you. This practice allows speech and language skills to be developed and utilized in a natural and functional environment.
In the community
To improve a child’s overall functional communication, intervention must target skills to be used in the child’s natural, daily environments. Through communication with the family, therapy can focus on environments and situations where a child shows weakness. For example, a goal in therapy may be to help a young child initiate play with peers on the playground, or for an older child with a fluency disorder, intervention may target communicating effectively over the phone. Our clinicians aim to provide the speech and language tools that can be used in every facet of a child’s life.
Speech and language skills are essential for academic success. Appropriate pediatric intervention realizes that a child must be prepared for the social and academic rigors of school.
We believe that it is not only important to collaborate with the family in regards to assessments and intervention, but also with other professionals that deliver services to the child. By maintaining a working relationship between teachers, physical therapists, educational psychologists, etc., this group effort can be focused, maximizing our individual efforts.
Therapy with school-age children may include consultation with the school/ teacher(s) to provide techniques and ideas on improving speech and language functioning in the classroom. We may also incorporate the use of newly acquired speech/language skills and strategies into academics, as appropriate.