Are you getting the best behavioural therapist for your child?
Updated: Feb 24
When a parent decides to engage a behavioural therapist for their child, an early intervention centre will assign a team. This team consists of a program director, case supervisor and therapist/s. A tailored individualized education program (IEP) is written out after a series of observations of the child to ensure accuracy when creating goals and strategies. The IEP helps to keep both parents and the team consistent with the approach used during therapy.
A good relationship between the therapist/s and parents is highly encouraged. The behavioural therapist must be open, non-judgmental and caring. A good therapist refrains from putting social conformity over the individual interests of the child. Case supervisors and program directors are expected to know child's programmes and goals when conversing with parents.
How do you know if you have hired the best behavioural therapist?
Here are a few traits to watch out for when choosing a behavioural therapist.
1. Understand a Child’s Development
A trained child therapist must be familiar with child-appropriate treatment approaches. There are different treatments for different developmental delays and issues. A reputable behavioural therapist must have a sound understanding of the developmental stages of young children and must be aware of common age-related problems and delays.
2. Have a "Soft Spot" for Children
A good child therapist should enjoy being around children and take pride in watching children flourish with therapy, as they hit milestones and achieve goals.
3. Willingness to Work with Other Professionals
A good child therapist needs to have good rapport with children and family. It is crucial that the allied care team is able to work with other professionals as a team (i.e. school teachers, childcare employees, psychologists, caregivers, tutors, etc.). If a child is throwing a 'tantrum' or is experiencing a meltdown in the house, he or she is most likely behaving the same way in the preschool or daycare. It is necessary to address these issues and collaborate with the professionals concerned in the child's ecosystem. It is additionally vital to deal with medical professionals, particularly if the child is taking medication. Willingness to communicate with the child's circle of influence can hasten the child's success, both in the house and at school.
4. Encourages Adult Participation
A great child therapist should urge parental engagement. In other words, the therapist must encourage moms, dads, caregivers to come and participate in the sessions. Additionally, it is essential for a behavioural therapist to provide a communication platform with parents. A professional behavioural therapist communicates regularly by updating parents with progress reports and parenting style suggestions to enhance the child's behaviours in the house and at school.
Ideally, the case supervisor that will oversee your child's development through their teens must be a consistent figure. A good team must offer stability. It is to the child's advantage to have different behavioural therapists to expose them to different teaching perspectives, but the program supervisor/case supervisor must know the child intimately and must commit for the long haul. Case supervisor and program directors must have a dual focus, one understanding the child's internal experience and the other understanding the parents.