Phase 3 (3 months~ ): Generalization of treatment strategies, precautions, and prevention methods
Among the clinical/psycho-educational strategies that have shown treatment effects during Phase 2, strategies that are necessary for a child’s behavior modification or learning progress at home or school go through the generalization process in the following ways.
First, parents and guardians get educated and trained to apply the same treatment strategies, which clinicians have used in the clinical and psycho-educational settings and have been proved successful. This process of getting trained is very important for the child to continuously achieve both the clinical and psycho-educational goals in the treatment plan.
There are several caveats in the process of transferring the treatment strategies from clinicians to parents. Because these were developed in clinical setting, it may not be easy for parents to acquire effective Treatment skills. Particularly, the way parents and guardians discipline or teach their child is often not consistent; during Phases 1 and 2, clinicians identify such inconsistencies, find the most effective disciplinary methods out of all methods that they have been using at home, incorporate them into the clinical strategies and try to make them work as consistent as possible. Parents and guardians may find difficult to become familiarized with the newly learned Treatment skills and how to discipline and respond to their child in a consistently effective manner. If one of the parents who is relatively busier than the other does not acquire these skills, it can hinder consistent treatment strategies from being fully implemented at home. Parents and guardians should consider themselves a core member of the treatment team to prevent such problem from occurring and actively participate in implementing the recommended treatment strategies at home for their child’s Treatment progress.
When these treatment and disciplinary strategies are successfully transferred to all of the child’s parents and guardians, they may also be partially transferred to school professionals. In case the child’s symptoms are severe or the treatment team has established a cooperative partnership with the school before proceeding with the psycho-educational program, these strategies can be shared with the school professionals immediately after Phase 2.
Usually, we find it more challenging to share these strategies with local Korean schools; however, international schools that have professional resources may be capable of implementing these to their classrooms. Still, we fully respect that school professionals have their own expertise and are aware that they may have different opinions about behavior modification approaches and treatment strategies. However, building close partnerships with the schools is important for the students’ progress although all of us have time and resource constraints.
In addition, because a large amount of additional research and advisory time should be devoted to gaining cooperation from school professionals, we need to work efficiently to the extent possible with these limitations in mind. All of these processes are shared with parents; their dedication and trust are essential for their child in creating a strong, collaborative system between the school and our institution. If the parents or caregivers feel uncomfortable with such a partnership, we cannot build one on our own, and thus, it is desirable to start the partnership with the school only when the parents and guardians are ready.