Importance of Parent Involvement In Behavioural Programmes
Parental Involvement is crucial for a successful ABA programme. To increase consistency between what your child is learning through their programme and what you are doing in the home, ask their tutor about their current and past targets. This will ensure that your child is getting as much exposure to the target skill as possible and will establish maintenance and generalisation. For example, a child is learning to greet people in school by saying “Hi”, his parents focus on this outside school and encourage the child to say “Hi” to different people that they meet throughout the day. If a child is, for example, learning to communicate via PECS at school and through sign language at home, this inconsistency may result in a longer time and more difficult for the child to acquire the means of communication.
The idea of becoming involved and continuing the programme in the home may seem overwhelming for parents, however there are many benefits of doing so!
Research has shown that parental involvement leads to better outcomes.
You can help the practice of learned skills through naturally occurring activities throughout the day. For example, if listening and following certain directions is being targeted in the child’s program, parents can continue this in many situations and therefore allow the child to acquire the skill much quicker.
You can assist in the generalisation of skills across people, settings, materials, etc.
You can help the child acquire functional communication by making use of the same communication system used in the ABA programme, whether this communication is vocal,PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System), or a speech generating device.
Increases in appropriate behaviour and decreases in inappropriate behaviour occur quickest when all people encourage and respond to behaviours in the same way.