The Reverse Parent Interview

The winding road to access services is filled with many things. One of the most common is a parent interview. Sometimes, we have parents who are sitting through interviews about their child’s skills and needs on a weekly basis! This month, we decided to turn that around and let a parent do the asking. Below is a snippet of that conversation, as the mom of one of our students asks her son’s behavior technician a few burning questions!

Is it weird to work in people’s homes instead of an office or school?

No, not at all! I think it is really fun to go from place to place. I think I would get bored if I stayed in an office all day.  Plus, it is nice to see the kids play with their own toys, in their own room, with their own siblings, etc.

Sometimes I feel bad because you guys get here and there is stuff everywhere, and the kids aren’t eating yet, and I am usually behind schedule. Is that as stressful for you as it is for me?

No way, life happens! That kind of stuff is only stressful if we let it bring us down. Otherwise, you just remember that it’s part of life and part of the reason we are here. If our kiddo is refusing breakfast – maybe we can help!  If there are toys everywhere – great, a natural opportunity to work on cleaning up together. Life for our families is not neat and perfect so I don’t expect your house to be neat and perfect at 8:00am either. 

Do you like it when the mom and dad are in the room during session or outside? 

I am fine with either. I think it is great when parents are in the room, but I also don’t want to force anybody to do something they are not comfortable with. We are in your house, which is already a big change for a lot of people.  I trust each family to figure out what works for them.  Also, sometimes my supervisors will help parents decide which times are best to join in and when it’s okay to sit back and observe. 

That makes sense. I remember when we started with you guys and I was so nervous. I didn’t know if I was supposed to help, or back off, or step in when he needed help. Now that I know you guys, it is a lot easier to decide. I’m sure I’m not the only parent who wasn’t sure what to do.  Are there things you wish you could tell every parent who’s starting ABA, but can’t?

Hmm, I’m sure there are. I guess one thing would be that it’s okay if your child doesn’t understand or “cooperate” at first.  That is why I am here! Kids will be confused or run away sometimes. They are new to me and I am new to them and we are figuring each other out. Don’t get discouraged by bumps in the road. Building a relationship is a process and we are here for the long haul.

What’s the craziest thing that ever happened to you during a session?

The one that jumps to my mind is a series of events, and the source of craziness was 100% me. I used to work with this family every Saturday. For almost a year, I repeatedly locked my keys in my car at the beginning of session without realizing it.  I don’t know how many times I had to call AAA to get my car unlocked in front of their house. They were always so understanding and laughed about it with me, but I always felt so silly to have done it again.  When their son graduated and I had my last session, the family gave me a little keychain to remember them by!

Last but not least… Do you like your job? 

Yes! Yes times a million. I love working with each of my kids. I would not be here if I did not.