Family-Based Speech & Language Therapy
Excerpted from the Briggs and Associates Newsletter, August 2004
Although we have always had families as integral members of our team, Margaret will begin helping family members assume more of a lead role. In the family-based model of speech and language therapy, we believe the families are the true agents of change. We, as the therapist, assume the role of coach. In this philosophy we believe that family members are ideal, natural teachers. We assist families by sharing our knowledge of how language develops and what to do when language is delayed. This knowledge is combined with the family’s understanding of the unique needs and abilities of them and their child. This model is quite different from “parent education” because strategies, goals, and activities are jointly developed by the therapist and the family. We don’t begin with a predetermined program or package that we give to everyone. Our work becomes quite organic, evolving as change occurs.
Margaret has been refining, researching, and teaching this model during her tenure as a professor. She began developing and teaching the model more than 15 years ago. Now she is excited about returning with this information to the Pasadena community, expanding and enhancing our services to young children and their families.
Some key components of a family-based model include:
In a family-based model “family” means—parents, grandparents, siblings, babysitters, teachers, other therapists, neighbors—anyone who regularly interacts with and can help support communication development. For instance, we have two brothers now who are helping their younger sibling pronounce words more clearly. We have a grandmother and an aunt who are joining the team to work on language with a little boy who has autism. Communication is definitely a family affair. Our goal is to collaborate with families to make communication happen easily and everywhere. And to make communication fun and rewarding for everyone!
© Margaret H. Briggs, PhD Briggs and Associates, APSLPC, 2005