We are a clinic that places an emphasis on treating the whole patient. To help achieve this aim, we believe in including the parent, guardian, or primary caregiver in treatment. By having a primary caregiver attend a session or part of a session, we form a “treatment partnership” which enhances the therapy experience. There are many good reasons for forming a “treatment partnership.” Here are some examples:
This partnership helps us understand and know each patient more fully and how their communication disorder affects them and others within their daily life, including within the family unit.
This partnership allows us to coordinate with both the patient and family member to help target skills which will be meaningful and functional.
It helps us educate and train family members so that they can communicate better with their loved ones.
It helps us educate the patient and/or caregiver on the nature of the communication disorder.
It helps us share daily progress and challenges.
It allows caregivers to learn and then practice and carryover activities/skills taught in therapy with their loved one, so the skills can transfer into the patient’s daily life, facilitating generalization.
It opens a forum for active problem solving. When something is not working at home or other settings, we can work together to solve the problem.
In general, this type of “treatment partnership” fosters both parties learning and growing together. Practically speaking, therapy does not end at the end of the therapy session but continues after the patient leaves the clinic for the day. Passing on techniques to the caregiver is crucial to continuing therapy as the patient goes home or into the community. After all, the patient will be expected to generalize what they have learned in therapy in all conditions where they find themselves in real life. These conditions will certainly include familiar people like family but will also include those not as familiar to them. Therefore, being integrated into the whole of society is important and being with their caregivers during therapy can facilitate this.
An example of how this partnering has helped parents is teaching them how to play. Parents are not given an instruction book on how to interact with their child, especially if they have a communication deficit. Many parents have also forgotten how to play. We show them how to follow their child’s lead and use toys and different play schemes to help develop speech and language more naturally. They learn how to play with their child in a way that helps the child practice and master what they are learning in therapy.
There are many very good reasons for attending therapy as a partner and we invite you to come learn and grow.