Thanks to the NDIS, local speech pathology service, A Growing Understanding, has been able to increase opportunities for parents to be in the 'driver's seat' when it comes to supporting their child's communication development.
Lauren Haskins, A Growing Understanding's Practice Director and Speech Pathologist, believes parent-implemented strategies are key when it comes to achieving greater outcomes:
"By implementing speech pathology services that are anchored in coaching and empowering parents, we can ensure that therapy can continue at home, and children can build language skills during everyday activities. Thanks to the NDIS, we can complement this service by presenting additional parent-implemented intervention programs, such as the Hanen "More than Words" program for parents of children on the Autism Spectrum or the Hanen "It Takes Two to Talk" program for parents of children with difficulties in their understanding or use of language."
Research shows that children learn to communicate best during everyday interactions with the important adults in their lives. The Hanen program helps families support their child's communication goals during the everyday situations that are already occurring.
"One of the best benefits of the Hanen programs is that parents aren't left feeling that they must 'create' extra time in their day to "work" on their child's communication. Instead, the strategies become a natural part of how parents interact with their children during everyday activities like bathtime," Mrs Haskins explained.
Evidence shows that parents learning how to assist their child's communication can be as effective, and in some areas more effective, than a specialist working directly 1:1 with the child. In the long term, parent-implemented intervention is more cost-effective because investing in a limited number of hours supporting parents' learning results in many more hours of support for the child.
When parents choose to invest their child's NDIS funding in the Hanen approach, they are truly taking the lead in their child's early intervention by learning how to help them, themselves and the rest of the family. When parents do this, they no longer have to worry about the limited number of therapy hours their child is entitled to, as parents can support their child's learning in everyday life, extending the highest quality support throughout the day, every day.
Hanen's evidence-based programs are aimed at building the social and communication skills that lay the foundation for successful interactions and long-term social success. Contact A Growing Understanding on 4044 1122 or visit: www.agrowingunderstanding.com.au.