For the Miller family, homework was “one of the most stressful things we had to do as a family,” explains mom Priyanka.
For their son Aden, who was has autism spectrum disorder, homework was a non-preferred task, especially with newer, harder concepts. It was something he had a tough time overcoming—and that was just one situation their family struggled with. There were other behaviors and situations, including negative self-talk, that were difficult, both for Aden and his family.
So, when the Miller’s learned about Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center’s (SARRC) Parent Training Program, they knew it was something they wanted to do.
The Parent Training Program is designed to equip parents with strategies to help teach their child, including appropriate language, social, and play skills that will benefit the child and their families throughout a lifetime. Families are taught the strategies of Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) to increase social communication skills, which uses a set of techniques during play activities to target their child’s developmental areas, such as motivation and self-initiations. The strategies can be implemented to help the child in a variety of situations and experiences.
The Millers joined the 12-week program and began meeting once a week at SARRC’s Phoenix campus for customized training with a SARRC Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) for one hour, once a week for 12 weeks.
“It’s been amazing what we learned in this program,” Priyanka says. “We were one-on-one with our therapists, and it changed the way we work with our son. It has given us the skills we need to work with Aden effectively.”
Their BCBA coach, or therapist, not only taught them strategies and techniques using Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) but also demonstrated hands-on how to implement the strategies.
“They would implement the concept she was trying to teach us right then, which was remarkable,” Priyanka says. “She’d have us do it right there. It’s a mind-opener and it really gave us specific skills that we needed as a family.
“To get that individualized attention and customized tools was invaluable and has changed the way we work with our son. It’s been a game-changer.”
After completing the Parent Training Program, Priyanka says not only are Aden’s homework stress and negative self-talk far less frequent, but the whole experience is now a positive one with high fives and smiles all around. The strategies the family was taught was able to be implemented to help Aden face these challenges.
“At SARRC, you feel like someone understands you and you aren’t alone. SARRC has been a refuge for us,” says Priyanka.
Today, the Millers are looking forward to a future of understanding how to help their son succeed.
“In our journey, we’ve learned that education and empowering yourself as parents with education and the right tools, leads to empowering your child. I think the training really provided us with an understanding of how to deal with our son in the most efficient way by empowering ourselves and then empowering him with those tools.”
About SARRC’s Parent Training Program
For a limited time, SARRC is offering an accelerated 6-week parent training version of our traditional 12-Week Parent Training Program. Parents will still receive the same coaching, strategies, and concepts, but parents and their SARRC Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) coach will meet virtually twice a week for six weeks. Our 12 week Parent Training option is still available. Learn more at autismcenter.org/ParentTraining or contact our team at 602.606.9806.