At OAI, we understand that parenting in a family with a child with autism can be completely overwhelming. Compassionate and respectful parent coaching to help improve a child’s independence and reduce problem behaviors is a part of every OAI program.
Autism affects the entire family. In addition to the huge responsibilities that parents must meet with any child, children with autism may require much more time and energy than their typically developing siblings. Children with autism often require a great deal of assistance with basic skills and may struggle to play appropriately without an adult directing them. Also, problem behaviors such as aggression and self-injurious behavior can be frightening and exhausting to the entire family. Living with and raising a child with autism demands that parents address these problems every day, during all the hours that the child is awake (and many children with ASD do not sleep through the night).
Each parent coaching program is unique, and designed to fit the individual family. Skills to address, and behaviors to decrease, are selected by parents. OAI parent coaching sessions give parents practical strategies. We understand that strategies must fit into a family’s lifestyle. Parents may be coached in prevention strategies for problem behaviors, functional skills such as toileting, eating, sleeping in one’s own bed, tolerating haircuts, hair washing, tooth brushing, nail trimming, dentist and doctor desensitization, behavior problems, and a variety of other home based issues. Over the course of the program, parents are given the concepts and basic principles that allow them to learn to address new skill deficits and behavior problems on their own once treatment is phased out.