At Listen and Talk, our providers utilize a family-coaching model when teaching children who are deaf or hard of hearing how to communicate with listening and spoken language. While teaching children to listen and speak is not an easy process, the family-coaching model can adapt in a way that meets families and children where they are so they can effectively progress towards their desired language goals. This approach uses a family’s strengths to help build a child’s language foundation. Providers work collaboratively with families to ensure that children learn in the natural environments where they live, learn, and play.
Here are some key features of Listen and Talk’s family-coaching model that help us change lives daily.
Family Coaching respects parents as a child’s teacher.
Our family-coaching model begins with the understanding that parents are their child’s first and most important teachers. Instead of expecting all our families to follow a strict “curriculum”, we work collaboratively with families to promote language development in everyday routines and activities. Our providers support and empower parents to learn how to use listening and spoken language strategies in their homes. We believe that family engagement is critical to a child’s success and our family-coaching model provides opportunities for meaningful family connections.
This relationship-based approach creates an equal partnership between expert and caregiver. In our sessions, the family member feels accountable while the provider supports them in fulfilling the action plans necessary to help families achieve desired outcomes. Family coaching demonstrates that when parents feel confident and competent in their role as language teachers, they are more likely to engage in daily family interactions that support their child’s language growth.
Parent Coaching builds developmental parenting skills.
Parent coaching is an approach that guides parent behavior to support child development. This approach is particularly beneficial for families with deaf or hard-of-hearing children, as it can help parents learn parenting behaviors that will promote their child’s language growth. This method supports parents by setting goals, providing feedback, and encouraging them to use what they have learned in the home setting.
Family Coaching helps families build confidence.
When a parent discovers that their child is deaf or hard of hearing, they will likely feel anxious about their child’s future. Most parents are naturally not “trained” to teach children how to listen and speak independently. As a result, they may not know where to start searching for the best child development resources. The unknown is overwhelming, but that is why our providers step in to support. We focus on helping families to discover their strengths. Utilizing these strengths will greatly enhance a child’s language learning journey. Parent coaching helps families feel confident in their ability to support their children’s language development and provides them with the tools they need to help their child live an extraordinary life full of meaningful connections.
Family Coaching establishes an enduring context of a child’s development.
Not all children hold the same interests. Family coaching helps children identify their unique talents, passions, and interests at an early age, and our providers help families build language opportunities that engage children based on their interests. Early access to language learning services is critical when teaching listening and spoken language. Our approach deliberately seeks out a child’s interests to keep them engaged in sessions and exercises. This strategy builds efficient and effective connections between the child, parent, and provider, fostering maximum language development.
Family Coaching helps families maintain skills during challenging times.
We understand that the real world is unpredictable and that a crisis or challenging period could present itself out of nowhere. Our family-coaching model is in-tune with life’s ups and downs. It provides families with the flexibility to make strategy adjustments without sacrificing their child’s language learning progress.
Since we guide families through exercises in real-life activity settings, we can eliminate barriers and provide language access to children no matter their cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. In addition, our team has a talent for seeking out strategic language learning opportunities with families. These opportunities will give a family a better idea of how to support their children in their home environment and continue to make progress between provider visits.
Every family has different needs for raising a child who is deaf or hard of hearing. Families who decide to teach their kids listening and spoken language from Listen and Talk are working towards what they believe are the best language outcomes for their child. Our approach to family coaching honors the family as they embark on this journey. It is by no means easy, but it is rewarding when a parent hears their child describe the sound an animal makes, talks to a grandparent on the phone, or becomes a self-advocate when describing their listening needs to a college professor.
We are grateful for every family that lets us serve as a guide as they teach their child who is deaf or hard of hearing, listening and spoken language. We are inspired by our families and their dedication and we are honored to be a part of their journey.