How Parents Can Make a Difference in Treatment of Toddlers with Developmental Disorders

SLP for children with Autism

As dedicated therapists and parents, we must pay close attention to our children’s speech development. While multiple therapy sessions definitely help, it is equally important for parents to contribute to them at home, too. We want to provide you with some ideas and models on exactly what you can do to help your child’s speech development at home.

In a study by Florida State University, Dr. Amy Wetherby found “the model of teaching parents at home during individual sessions WITH their children focusing on play, daily routines like meals, snacks, chores and caregiving, along with teaching a parent how to teach a child to participate in community outings, resulted in the best outcomes for improving language, understanding, and social interaction.” – Teachmetotalk.com

These findings help to shape a few rules to guide parents in their efforts to contribute to their children’s therapy:

  1. Work with strategies provided by your SLP for 20-25 hours/week at home. 
  2. Parents should challenge their children during their interaction, especially during toddlerhood. 2-3 year olds are on the peak of their development, and can get the biggest benefits from therapy.
  3. Early intervention is key. If parents know or suspect their child has a developmental disorder, they must act quickly to ensure successful development.

Sources:

The original copy of this article was published on teachmetotalk.com, and is based on the Florida State study by Dr. Amy Wetherby.

A. M. Wetherby, W. Guthrie, J. Woods, C. Schatschneider, R. D. Holland, L. Morgan, C. Lord. Parent-Implemented Social Intervention for Toddlers With Autism: An RCT. PEDIATRICS, 2014; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2014-0757

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