We believe the key to outstanding success is to work with the whole family, not just your child in isolation. When a child is struggling or has a diagnosed condition this affects the whole family and, in some cases, can put a severe strain on your family life. Even the latest, most scientifically validated programme of interventions will ultimately fail if it doesn’t take into account your family situation and the unique challenges and opportunities facing your family unit.
This is why a whole family approach is such a crucial part of the way NETwork Interventions works. We want you to thrive in teaching your child, but we also want you to thrive at work, in your relationship with your partner, in your friendships and in your relationships with your other children.
Working with parents
In many cases mum or dad is the family member most closely involved with the child on a day to day basis – and parents can respond in different ways to the challenges of a child who is struggling in some way. For mum for example, this could mean becoming totally immersed in trying to help the child; for dad this could involve spending more time at work to escape the pressures and challenges at home. This can create an unhealthy, unbalanced family dynamic, and create conflict between parents, although no-one is to blame for this. We get alongside Mum and Dad, giving scientifically-based information about the possible reasons for their child’s behaviour, condition or struggles, dispelling the myths and freeing both parents up to move from analysis paralysis, to finding solutions and a way forward.
Informing and equipping
For some parents, the myths and fears surrounding their child’s condition need to be addressed; many parents, when we first meet them, have resigned themselves to their child’s condition and the behaviours and problems associated with it. Some parents have settled in to thinking that medication is the only way of helping their child – and have accepted that their child will be on medication for the rest of his or her life. Of course, there are many situations in which medication is of a child’s progress - and NETwork Interventions will work with families to ensure they are able to implement behaviour therapy also in conjunction with a child’s medication needs.
We often start out by providing parents with accurate, scientifically validated information about the best, most effective ways of helping their child. Many parents are astounded to hear just how successful our interventions can be, having believed that their child’s behavioural, social or language and communication problems were unchangeable.
No one likes to talk about it, but let’s be real - finances really matter! As much as you want to help your child, you can only do so much before the money runs out. NETwork Interventions will work with you to ensure you can maximise your programming without maxing out your credit cards.
Most parents that come to us want to do it all and do it all well. Our families have incredible capabilities – but this can prevent them taking time to nurture themselves and the other relationships in their lives. NETwork Interventions can teach you the skills you need to implement throughout your day, so you do not feel bogged down by “teaching time” and can feel like you are maximising every second that your child is awake. We can also work with you to ensure you are taking the personal time that you need. That may mean helping you secure respite care or arranging for your child to attend a camp or playgroup.
We love to work with your entire family and other members of the community who are involved with your child. If you would like grandparents, aunts and uncles, neighbours or family friends to learn how to interact successfully and support you in your teaching, invite them to our sessions. We love a crowd and the more people who are informed and trained, the better.
Networks for families
The fact that our name is NETwork Interventions is no accident. Linking up families is at the heart of our approach (along with the fact that we use Natural Environment Teaching!!) – and over the years we have linked up hundreds of parents and families across the world through our NETwork programme.
One way of doing this is our sibling network scheme for the brothers and sisters of children with learning difficulties,where family members can learn from each other how to cope with the difficulties of living with a sibling who has autism or a sibling with an another delay or struggle and share their experiences.
We also link up parents of children with behaviour difficulties, so their shared experiences can help them continue with intervention successfully and reduce the burden of feeling like they are “alone” in their struggle.