A six-week session began yesterday aiming to provide behaviour intervention training for parents and caregivers.
The training sessions are presented by Aspire Special Needs Resource Centre based out of Red Deer and are open to parents and caregivers of children with and without special needs.
The next session in the program, which runs Tuesday evenings from 6:15 – 8:45 p.m., will take place on Jan. 27th at the Aspire offices located at 4826 – 47 St.
The training sessions aim to give parents proactive and reactive techniques and tools to use when dealing with behavioural issues in children with and without special needs such as outbursts, meltdowns, testing limits and talking back.
Topics such as how to reduce common behavior problems, understanding behaviour as communication, improving family function, improving relationships with your child, how to advocate for your child, as well as how to decrease social isolation and bullying for your child will all be touched on in the program.
Christina Deminchuk, behaviour specialist with Aspire, along with Barb Enright, psychologist with Aspire, will be heading the course together and believe it can be an important tool for parents who have concerns about their child’s behaviour.
The program is being made possible by a grant from the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).
“As parents most of us will face challenges with our child’s behavior but it’s how we deal with these challenges that will affect future situations,” explained Deminchuk.
“These sessions give strategies to help understand behaviour and be both proactive and reactive in order to help set practices in place that could reduce behaviour challenges that parents experience. And one of the most important things is to help build child/parent relationships.”
The importance of building a strong relationship with your child is one of the program’s larger points, she said.
“We look at that back story and then we look at the relationships between child and parent and look at ways to build that relationship up because that’s always important,” she explained. “Regardless of the relationship you have with your child, there are always ways to improve it.”
Deminchuk explained that Aspire has heard many success stories from previous sessions, with many parents stating that even after making small changes in their parenting techniques they noticed their children reacting in very different ways.
“Often times we as parents will see the behavior, but we won’t understand the situation as a whole,” said Deminchuk. “We’re not looking at what our child’s sleep is like, what their nutrition is like, what was their day like at school, what challenges are they facing, and what are they trying to tell us through their behavior. Are they anxious, are they angry, are they frustrated, what’s going on at home, do they feel supported?”
Part of the program also focuses on educating parents on the broad spectrum where their child may fall in terms of their needs.
“We look at things like, maybe your child has some attention issues – but is it severe enough to be ADHD? Most of the time it isn’t but we want parents to be aware of that spectrum,” she said.
For more information on the behaviour intervention strategy sessions visit www.aspirespecialneeds.ca or call Aspire at 403-340-2606.