One Kid, Many Therapies, One Team
Michael's speech therapist spent all session yesterday helping him with chronology concepts. He just can't seem to grasp "yesterday and tomorrow". Even with his own daily life, these concepts elude him. When she asks what he did yesterday, he always answers with "I went to get pizza".
Michael's BCBA has been working with her therapists on helping Michael sequence events. They are using the terms first, next, and last. He is able to put pictures in order, but can't seem to describe the events using the terminology.
Michael has a tutor. He is working with Michael on reading comprehension, specifically with talking about the order of events in a story. He doesn't understand why Michael is not able to use the words "before" and "after" when talking about what he reads.
All of these professionals are working with Michael using valid techniques and methods to address a core issue. Michael has trouble with sequencing and time concepts, but they are all using different terminology and techniques. Michael is getting confused. He doesn't know what word to use in what situation.
Our kids often find themselves working with different professionals in different ways. All of these therapists, teachers, and professionals do a great job in their own right, but kids suffer if there is no collaboration or comparing of notes.
When professionals work together and use a team-based model of treatment, kids improve more quickly, generalize skills more between professionals, and are able to understand more of what is being taught.
One way that this can be done is by using a "case manager". Many parents try to be case managers for their kids, only to realize that keeping all professionals on the same page can be a very daunting task. Working with a professional who will take on this role is often the key. That person needs to be knowledgeable about how a child learns, needs to be a professional themselves, able to communicate with different educators and therapists effectively, and have the child's best interest at heart. The right person can cultivate a team-culture that will help a child blossom!
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