Susan Latham, Ph.D. CCC SLP Saint Mary s College

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1 Learning Engaging Families During Early Intervention: Coaching Strategies That Make A Difference Susan Latham, Ph.D. CCC SLP Saint Mary s College Active Engagement Construct Your Knowledge By Doing Safe and Nurturing Learning Environment Risk Taking Work Collaboratively With Others Your learning is not complete until you teach what you know to someone else and can describe precisely what you have learned and what you understand Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivators Description of a typical EI therapy session How do you share your expertise? Family Centered Strengths Based Natural Learning Environment Everyday Activities IDEA Part C Early Intervention services: Guiding Principles Differences between Coaching & Direct Intervention Family centered and culturally and linguistically responsive Developmentally supportive and promote children's participation in their natural environments Comprehensive, coordinated, and team based Based on the highest quality evidence that is available (ASHA Position Statement, 2008) Direct 1:1 interaction between the child and practitioner How children learn Parent is in the role of an observer The practitioner implements strategies Focus is on Intervention Play activities Elicit language with planned activities Home program? Maybe. Coaching Interaction is between the caregiver and practitioner. Interaction is between the caregiver and child How adults learn Practitioner is the observer Practitioner models when applicable Focus is on Prevention Routines Facilitate language during naturally occurring routines Parent implements strategies everyday 1

2 Continuation of child focused Practitioner teaches the child rather than involving the caregiver in teaching the child Direct explanation and modeling are frequently used strategies instead of less direct strategies Research shows: Caregivers are engaged most of the time They are watching their children while the providers deliver interventions Children are engaged most of the time With object play What are the providers doing? Delivering interventions Minimal teaching of caregivers (Wilcox, 2012) Rossetti surveyed 300 parents/caregivers to determine their number one frustration with service providers: They don t listen to me. He then surveyed 300 service providers to determine their number one frustration with parents/caregivers: They don t listen to me. (Rossetti,2009) Empowering parents Why Coach? Family members are the principle stakeholders involved in young children s lives (Bagnato, Neisworth, & Pretti Fronczak, 2010) Dunst (2000) found that empowering parents to be teachers increased child learning and was more effective than clinic settings and in home direct therapy approaches Caregiver responsiveness parents are the major influence on their children s development even when their children participate in intervention; and the effectiveness of intervention is highly associated with parents becoming more responsive with their children during the course of intervention (Mahoney, 2009, p.90) Responsive strategies Playing frequently with the child Imitating the child s actions and communications Waiting expectantly Following the child s lead Giving the child frequent opportunities to make choices Building on the child s interests Turning routines into games Assigning intent to the child s facial expressions and vocalizations Rush & Sheldon,

3 Environment Stages of learning Natural learning environments are most effective (Dunst, 2000) Naturalistic approaches Occurs in daily routines, play and conversation Based on incidental learning Parent/caregiver is primary change agent Pre Aware Aware Action Social Interactionist theory of language development Vygotsky (1986) believed that children s cognitive development resulted from interaction between children s innate skills and their social experiences with peers, adults, and culture in general. zone of proximal development Bruner (1977) suggested that when caregivers and their infants engage in joint referencing, they share a common focus of interest that ultimately contributes to language acquisition. Children develop communication within extended adult child interactions Interactions provide children with natural learning opportunities Responsive language input Simplified adult languageinput facilitates children s communication Evidence based practice Coaching is an evidence based approach It is an interactive process between the family and the coach that includes Sharing of information Support and encouragement for the family Refinement of existing practices Development of new skills Promotion of continuous self assessment and learning (Sheldon & Rush, 2010) How Do you share your expertise? Purpose of Coaching How do you create opportunities for informal dialogue with family members? What are some ways that you acknowledge family strengths and competencies? How can you do more to solicit parents opinions and ideas? What are specific strategies that you use to seek understanding from caregivers? How do you demonstrate that you care about the entire family? When have you acknowledged and responded to feelings and emotions of the family? (McWilliam, 2010) The role of the coach Provide supportive and encouraging environment Jointly examine and reflect on current practices Jointly apply new skills and competencies with feedback Jointly problem solve challenging situations Effective coaching can set the stage for lifelong learning 3

4 Type of coaching Evidence based definition of coaching Coaching is used to support the coachee in specific ways that are related to his or her goals, not make the person do what the coach wants or believes that the coachee should do. Support includes: Helping the coachee become aware of and analyze current knowledge and performance Developing alternatives and a plan for improved knowledge and performance with assistance as needed from the coach Helping the coachee conduct a self evaluation of his or her own knowledge and performance, with feedback from the coach as needed, until the coachee is competent and confident that he or she An adult learning strategy in which the coach promotes the learner s (coachee s) ability to reflect on his or her actions as a means to determine the effectiveness of an action or practice and develop a plan for refinement and use of the action in immediate and future situations (Rush & Sheldon, 2011) Key Characteristics of coaching 1. Joint Planning Agreement by the coach and coachee on the actions they will take or the opportunities to practice between coaching visits. 2. Observation Examination of another person s actions or practices to be used to develop new skills, strategies, or ideas. 3. Action Spontaneous or planned events that occur within the context of a real life situation that provide the coachee with opportunities to practice, refine, or analyze new or existing skills 4. Reflection Analysis of existing strategies to determine how the strategies are consistent with evidence based practices and how they may need to be implemented without change or modified to obtain the intended outcomes Tools 5. Feedback Information provided by the coach that is based on: direct observations of the coachee, actions reported by the coachee, or information shared by the coachee Information is designed to expand the coachee s current level of understanding about a specific evidence based practice or to affirm the coachee s thoughts or actions related to the intended outcomes The Asset Based Context (ABC) Matrix (Wilson & Mott, 2006) The Interest Based Everyday Activity Checklist (Swanson, Raab, Roper, & Dunst, 2006) The Routines Based Interview (McWilliam & Clingenpeel, 2003) What the coach does 4

5 Ten key elements of coaching in early childhood 1. Consistent with the principles of adult learning 2. Capacity Building 3. Nondirective 4. Goal Directed 5. Solution Focused 6. Performance Based 7. Reflective 8. Collaborative 9. Context Driven 10. As hands on as it needs to be (Rush & Sheldon, 2011) Characteristics of an Effective Coach Competent (skilled, knowledgeable, helpful) Open (objective, respectful) Adaptable (flexible, open, agreeable) Caring (empathetic, active listener, encouraging) Honest (trustworthy) (Rush & Sheldon, 2011) References References American Speech Language Hearing Association. (2008).Roles and Responsibilities of Speech Language Pathologists in Early Intervention: Position Statement[Position statement]. Available from Bagnto, S., Neisworth, P, & Pretti Fronczak, P., (2010). Linking authentic assessment and early childhood intervention: Best measures for best practices, 2 nd ED. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brooks Publishing Co., Inc. Bruner, J. (1977). Early social interaction and language acquisition. In R. Schaffer (Ed.), Studies in mother infant interaction (pp ). New York: Academic Press. Dunst, C.J., Herter, S., & Shields, H. (2000). Interest based natural learning opportunities. In S. Sandall & M. Ostrosky (Eds.), Natural environments and inclusion (Young Exceptional Children Monograph Series No.2) (pp.37 48). Longmont, CO: Sopris West. Mahoney, G. (2009). Relationship focused intervention (RFI): Enhancing the role of parents in children s development intervention. International Journal of Early Childhood Special Education, 1 (1), McWilliam, P.J. (2010). Talking to families. In R.A. McWilliam (Ed.), Working with families of young children with special needs (pp ). New York: Guildford Press. McWilliam, R.A. (2010). Working with families of young children with special needs. New York: Guildford Press. McWillam, R.A., & Clingenpeel, B. (2003, August). Functional intervention planning: The routines based interview. Retrieved from Rossetti, L. (2009). Enhancing Services for Infants and Toddlers with Special Needs. A presentation at the Inez Miller Conference on Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, OK. Rush, D.D., & Sheldon, M.L. (2011). The Early Childhood Coaching Handbook. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brooks Publishing Co., Inc. Sheldon, M.L., & Rush, D.D. (2010). A primary coach approach to teaming and supporting families in early childhood intervention. In R.A. McWilliam (Ed.), Working with families of young children with special needs (pp ). New York: Guildford Press. Swanson, J., Raab, M.R., Roper, N., Dunst, C.J. (2006). Promoting young children s participation in interest based everyday learning activities. CASEtools, 2 (5), 1 22 Retrieved from Vygotsky, L.s. (1986). Thought and language. Trans. A. Kozulin. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Wilcox, M.J. (2012). A Look Inside Early Intervention: What is going on?. A presentation at the American Speech Language Hearing Association Convention. Atlanta, GA. Wilson, L.L., & Mott, D.W. (2006). Asset based context matrix: An assessment tool for developing contextually based child outcomes. CASEtools, 2(4), Retrieved from 5

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