Our Therapeutic Approach
We believe that parents, given the proper knowledge, skills, and tools, have the capacity to implement highly effective interventions for their children. We also believe that a parent-centered therapeutic model designed to educate and support caregivers results in parent who feel more proactive, empowered, and better able to address their child’s developmental needs.
The Family Hope Center has physicians, clinicians, therapists, and educators working together to provide you with an individualized plan that is unique to your child’s needs. We seek to synthesize existing research, clinical expertise, and treatments across several fields to provide parents with information about therapeutic options that have been found to be beneficial for certain populations. We train parents to implement an individualized set of therapies at home.
Our therapeutic approach relies on three other fundamental principles:
1. The human brain continues to grow, organize, and reshape itself in response to its environment throughout the course of our entire lives.
This means that at any age and at any level of current functional ability, our brains are capable of rewiring themselves in response to injury – to regain old or develop new function. However, it also means that the brain needs the right kind of environment (and the right amount of opportunity) in order to do so effectively.
2. Parents, given the right knowledge, skills, and tools, have the capacity to be extraordinarily effective therapists for their children.
As parents, you have three distinct advantages:
- You know your child best
- You spend more time with your child than anyone else
- You love your child, making you committed to your child’s ultimate success in life
- Given these advantages, our model has both the potential to promote extraordinary outcomes for children and improved mental health outcomes for parents as well.
3. Our approach is neurologically-based and developmentally-sensitive. We create an individualized and comprehensive treatment plan that recognizes each child’s current levels of function in all areas of development (e.g., social, cognitive, sensorimotor, communicative).
We tailor therapies and activities to a child’s current levels of ability in each area.
Parents learn to use different language to describe a child’s diagnosis from the traditional medical model – language that focuses on describing levels of function and the particular area(s) of the brain responsible for those functions that are most impaired.
Evaluating Individuals with Disabilities
- Our approach to evaluating and describing individuals with disabilities differs fundamentally from traditional diagnostic criteria, which relies on observing a particular collection of symptoms. We avoid using traditional diagnostic labels as our experience tells us that those categories can be imprecise.
- Instead, we believe that describing individuals as the sum of their current abilities, rather than a collection of symptoms and disabilities, is a more useful, precise, and informative approach to diagnosis and ultimately leads to a more individualized and comprehensive treatment plan.
- At the Family Hope Center, we teach parents how to use an assessment tool (the Integrative and Developmental Progression Chart), to measure a baseline of neurological, social, motor, sensory, and cognitive function, resulting in a more informative diagnosis based on specific functional abilities. This tool, which measures brain function across developmental stages and areas, also serves as the basis for evaluating your child’s progress and response to therapy.
- We also use another functionally based tool to measure and track each child’s progress across domains: The Functional Independence Measure for children (WeeFIM).