Handling Behaviors in Home Care
Today's post is more of a reflection
a clinical report about how to address challenging behavior issues encountered in the home care setting.
I am a speech-language pathologist, not a behavior specialist. My training, education and background have all focused on the area of speech-language pathology. Although, I have attended numerous behavior trainings through my work and have also been schooled on the benefits of positive behavior supports, managing challenging behaviors in home care is still somewhat out of my comfort zone.
Handling behaviors in a classroom, a therapy session and of course within the walls of your own home can often be challenging, but in those situations we as therapists and as mothers/fathers are expected to be in control. We are on our own "turf" so to speak. It is up to us to set the stage and maintain control. We are able to create the expectations of the children we are responsible to care for, teach, love and oversee.
In the home care setting, the scenario is much different. In this situation, you are entering into someone else's home and long before you showed up, rules (or no rules) were set. The biggest challenge for me occurs in this setting when I see a child's true potential not being met because of how behaviors are or are not being handled. We have been sent to this person's home to address their child's speech and language delay/disorder, not their behavior. However, as any seasoned therapist knows, how a child behaves can and will directly affect their ability to communicate and vice versa.
Recently I was in a house that I had visited several times before; however at this particular session I saw a whole new side to the family's home environment. I quickly realized that the family's disorganized living space and inability to tell their child "no" had created an intense level of chaos in the home and their child who to me seems quite capable of thriving in an environment of clear boundaries and consistent guidelines realistically has the benefits of neither. What seems consistent in this home is that the rules and consequences or lack thereof are always changing. In addition, my observation during this session was that when the challenging behavior(s) would rise, the child's communication and all their foundational building blocks such as eye contact, attention and focus would fall.
Are you experiencing challenging behavior during your home care visits???
Join me next week as I share some of my own survival techniques
when behaviors flare in home care!