The Power of Parent Coaching in Speech Pathology
Parent coaching in speech pathology is an evidence-based model for supporting children to meet their therapeutic goals.
Here at Therapy Pro, our therapists work to educate and empower families so that children achieve more successful outcomes.
In this article, Therapy Pro early childhood speech pathologist Yasemin shares a client story that illustrates the power of parent coaching and how it helped to implement speech pathology therapeutic strategies at home, between therapy sessions.
The research and evidence into parent coaching tell us time and time again – if you want to see the best outcomes for your child, participating in their therapy is integral to achieving their goals.
Let’s hear more about Yasemin’s story and the impact parent coaching had on her speech pathology client.
Parent Coaching: Empowering the Family
Yasemin’s client, a 3-year-old boy called James*, had recently completed an autism assessment and diagnosis, and initially, Yasemin’s support was in educating his family on the diagnosis and what it may mean for their child.
James’ vocabulary consisted mostly of nouns and he could not place two words together. It would be developmentally appropriate to expect James to say four to five words in a sentence by his age. He also had difficulty using functional communication skills such as requesting, protesting, or asking questions. His limited ability to communicate meant that he was resorting to hitting and biting, which were flagged as behaviours of concern.
As well as working with James, Yasemin taught his family about language stimulation strategies to help support his oral vocabulary and increase his ability to use two words together in a sentence.
Alongside these language stimulation strategies, Yasemin implemented augmentative and alternative communication systems such as key word sign and a communication board. This strategy was two-fold in that it helped James communicate his needs and build his oral communication skills.
“I am extremely empathetic towards all of my clients and ensure that they are the ones who decide on what is important to them. When working with children, I always aim to use their interests in therapeutic activities to make certain the learning is done in a fun and engaging way.”
James and his Family’s Achievements
Yasmin supported James over a three-year period, during which she also undertook parent coaching to further enhance James’ therapy between sessions.
In doing so, this meant that his family could implement learned speech and communication strategies at home. This consistency and embedding of therapeutic strategies had the most impact on James’ progress.
James significantly increased his oral vocabulary and began using two to three words in a sentence. He became less reliant on his communication system and using key word sign as he began to request things verbally, using phrases that were taught to him, e.g., “I want…”, “I like…”, and “I’m finished”. This improvement in his oral communication led to a reduction in the behaviours of concern he was displaying.
Reflecting on Speech Pathology Week
Yasemin has always been interested in helping others and working with children. Ever since she was young, she wanted to be a teacher and knew she would become an educator.
Yasemin gained a strong interest in biology and the human body throughout school. Speech pathology seemed to be the perfect mesh of teaching and health, this combination of passions drew Yasemin to the field, and she has been empowering children and families through education ever since.
“I love that I get to work with families to support them and their needs each day. How lucky I am to be working in such a rewarding field!”
Yasemin reflects on the importance of staying up to date with the latest research and evidence-based practice to ensure she is continuously improving and offering the best possible therapy for her clients.
She does this by sharing resources and new research articles with the SLP team at Therapy Pro and seeking professional development courses on specific areas she is interested in or where there are gaps in her knowledge.
Speech Pathology Australia shares new evidence, learnings, and practices in the industry and is a go-to resource for Yasemin.
*All client details have been deidentified*
Looking for Support with Communication or Swallowing Difficulties?
Head to our Speech and Language Pathology services page for more information on the many ways our Therapy Pro speech pathologists support individuals.
View Yasemin’s profile for a look at her areas of experience and service locations.
If you’re looking for support with a speech-language challenge, whether for yourself, a family member, or a client, reach out to our team, and we will connect you with a therapist in your area.
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