When you first meet Xavier’s family, you learn that he and his mother live with her parents. Xavier’s grandmother “keeps” him during the day while his mom is at work. Xavier’s mother is very interested in early intervention but her mother is not. The grandmother thinks that he will talk when he’s ready and that there is nothing to worry about. On your first visit, she makes a point of telling you that she has raised 5 children and 3 were late-talkers and they are fine now. She wonders – out loud – if early intervention is just a scam to get insurance money…
Starting off on the Right or Wrong Foot…
As enthusiastic as we are about the work we do, it’s challenging when a family member does not share that view. It can be especially challenging when it becomes personal. The grandmother in this scenario is clearly an important person to have on your side, as far as supporting Xavier’s development. Even though she has her doubts, she is letting the service provider in her home and is being honest about what she thinks. It’s up to the service provider, then, to listen with an open mind, get to know her, find out what she wants for her grandson, and find a way to work together. Building a trusting rapport, being open to the grandmother’s expertise about raising children, and taking the opportunity to help her learn about early intervention are great places to start.
If you were supporting Xavier’s family, what would you do?
What would you say in response to the grandmother’s doubts?
Would you correct her and explain the research behind early intervention?
Would you call the service coordinator for assistance?
How would you partner with her to help Xavier?
Share your ideas and experiences with similar situations in the comments below!