As I sit down to finally write this blog post I feel a little disappointed; not because I don’t want to write it, but because I am just getting to it now. When I began blogging about the experience of opening The Discovery Centre and providing behavioural services to children and youth with ASD I was hoping to get a post out every month. That was 3 months ago :/
Does struggling to get things done sound familiar? Trying to balance the rest of your life – which probably includes other children, a job, a partner, appointments, and trying to navigate funding changes – you are now expected to try and implement behavioural strategies that will help in the long run, but initially seem like a huge amount of work and commitment…
So instead of my original idea looking at different ways to determine the function of challenging behaviour, I’d rather start a discussion on how to pick our battles; do a few things with confidence to get great results, then build on that progress.
I was chatting with a parent the other day about starting toilet training at home -which was still in the early stages at the Centre. Although the family was initially really eager, as we chatted it became apparent that adding toilet training at home would be too much to add to their already full plate. We agreed that it would be best for her child to gain some toileting momentum at the Centre, give the family some time to work on an already established home-goal (which was going quite well), and transfer toilet training home when she and her husband felt ready to give it their full attention.
We don’t have to tackle everything at once! Although we often feel pressed for time in early intervention, it’s also important to remember that if we pick one or two goals for parent training, they will likely be implemented with more effectiveness than if we try multiple training goals at once. We know that the benefits of therapy are impacted greatly the more a family is involved; however, it’s the quality of that involvement, not necessarily the quantity of goals targeted that makes the difference.
Keep your eyes peeled for our next (monthly?) blog post.
Mary Philips M.Ed., BCBA