Thank you for helping Diana today with the sensitive conversations she had with Max about his son Ben.
In the field of early childhood, we all feel strongly about wanting to help children grow to their fullest potential; and we know that early support for developmental challenges has the best results.
That’s why ongoing observation of child development and early screening should be routine practices that support children's needs and age-appropriate progress across all domains of development.
How we go about engaging the family in this process is critical to achieving positive outcomes.
Your participation today helped Diana channel her own strong feelings of worry about Ben, and her desire to do the best for him, in a way that invited his dad to collaborate in the process.
This way, she didn’t push Max away due to the worry and fear these conversations can arouse in a parent. You helped her remember that parents know their children in ways that can help us know them better too. Instead of Diana trying to convince Max of her point of view, you helped her join him in his observations and his loving dedication to his son.
Just as in previous simulations, you accomplished this by looking for opportunities to collaborate with the parent’s. You engaged Max’s goals and strengths, rather than focusing on your own agenda for the family; and you used Diana and Max’s observations of Ben as a key strategy in opening up trust and discussion.
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Your program might use any of a number of research-based developmental screening tools. Perhaps you are thinking about a child with a possible developmental concern in a domain other than speech. Maybe a routine screener raises a concern that had not been observed or discussed before, or maybe a parent comes to you with a concern.
Regardless, these Strengths-based Attitudes and Relationship-based Practices are applicable to all interactions with families and any developmental, social, emotional, or behavioral concerns.
By tending to Max’s relationship with Ben, and Diana’s relationship with Max, you helped her truly engage Max in moving toward helpful additional support for all involved. Having a strong partnership with Max will help Diana be a more effective provider for Ben.
I bet Diana and Max can’t wait to see how much progress Ben makes!