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CAREGIVER COACHING · BIRTH THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL
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A how-to guide for teaching responsiveness (and so much more)
We loved this intervention so much we worked with the researcher to make a manual for you all.
December 11, 2021
Raise your hand if you’ve come across any of the following challenges:
I bet all of us have encountered some or most of those!
We know the importance of caregiver coaching, responsiveness, and focusing on children’s increased functional participation in daily family and community life. But from the show of hands just now, it’s clear that we all struggle in some way with actually implementing these ideals in our practice. And for that, allow me to draw your attention to Parent-Child Relationally Informed Early Intervention (PCRI-EI)!
PCRI-EI sets the stage for all of your other interventions. It’s not meant to replace your language strategies; rather, it supports caregivers’ attunement with their child which in turn creates the relational context in which you can target functional family goals. It’s based on well-established child attachment theories and interventions and has been made into simple-to-understand strategies to be taught in a specific sequence within the early intervention setting.
The PCRI-EI manual is comprehensive, and at first glance may look overwhelming. But it was specifically designed to make this intervention “do-able” and help you through step by step.
The strategies you see within the manual are likely not going to feel drastically different from what you know. That’s because we’re all familiar with responsiveness and already support responsive interactions within our sessions—how many times a day do we say to follow the child’s lead? The real value here is the systematic nature of the program, the precision and specificity of the strategies, and the examples and scripts to help therapists explain concepts. Because remember how you admitted in the first paragraph that none of this is as easy as it seems? Yeah. We need this! For example:
Yes! The researchers have generously allowed us to host the manual so that all of you can have access to it. We’ve worked with them to make it as accessible for clinicians as possible. Download it here!
Initial studies demonstrate that it is effective for a variety of outcomes for those involved. Here are some of the initial findings:
There’s been a lot of blaming of EI therapists for not using coaching models or more relationally-based interventions. But these researchers have seen that this is not for lack of effort on our part. Instead, their research shows that limited uptake of these models often boils down to a lack of training and tools on how to use these approaches in a way that is both grounded in theory and evidence and takes real caregivers’ and therapists’ challenges into account. We love that these scientists are committed to helping us do that.
Callanan, J., Ronan, K., & Signal, T. (2019). Activating parents in early intervention: Preliminary findings from an empirical case study. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/1034912x.2019.1628186
Callanan, J., Signal, T., & McAdie, T. (2021). Involving parents in early intervention: Therapists’ experience of the Parent Child Relationally Informed-Early Intervention (PCRI-EI) model of practice. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/1034912x.2021.1910933
Callanan, J., Signal, T., & McAdie, T. (2021). What is my child telling me? Reducing stress, increasing competence and improving psychological well-being in parents of children with a developmental disability. Research in Developmental Disabilities. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2021.103984 [open access]
Callanan, J., Signal, T., & McAdie, T. (2021). Engaging parents in early childhood intervention: Relationship as a platform for functional gains. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/1034912x.2021.1876216
Callanan, J. (2021). Activating parents in early intervention: The role of relationship in functional and family gains. CQUniversity. https://doi.org/10.25946/16807915.v1 [open access]
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