Posted: September 19th, 2022
Family-centered practice is becoming the gold standard in the field of early intervention. Families cannot simply be given instructions from interventionists and then be expected to follow them without any input with their goals for their child. If they disagree with the methods that the interventionist is trying to implement, they will simply not do them, which only hurts the relationship with the interventionist, and does not support the child. Interventionists should start with meeting with the family in a place where they feel comfortable, let the family lead the meeting while the interventionist asks questions and offers suggestions based on the family’s concerns, and then develop a plan of action with the family once the goals are clear (García-Grau et al., 2019). Often times it is useful to meet the family at home to discuss plans or ideas so that they feel comfortable, and the interventionist can observe the family in their natural setting. The interventionist should always listen to what the family has in mind for goals and what approaches they are comfortable with. Different beliefs and cultures will sometimes mean that the family and the professional do not agree on the way a certain situation is handled, but the family’s decision is the one that must be followed as long as the safety of the child is not compromised. Interventionists should take time with the family to get to know them and to build trust within the first couple of meetings so that way everyone feels able to express themselves openly without judgement. Professionals should be willing to take suggestions and then, if needed, provide demonstrations so the family feels comfortable doing these things once the interventionist leaves (García-Grau et al., 2019).
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