Parents, and indeed family members, of children with developmental disabilities experience challenges that differ from those experienced by parents of typically developing children. Our team of psychologists at Eckert Centre understand when a child with one or more disabilities is born into a family or when parents receive the diagnosis of their child's disability, what lies ahead in their parenting journey is unique. Some children with disabilities pose particular challenges because of developmental needs and behaviors that require specific parenting skills or actions not required for children who are developing typically. In addition, parents of children with disabilities tend to experience greater challenges to navigate certain points of transition during their child's lifespan (e.g., hospital to home, entry to early intervention programs, movement from early intervention to preschool programs, movement from preschool to kindergarten, movement from elementary school to middle/high school, movement from school years to adulthood).
Every parent of a child with special needs deserves a team - professionals who are not only experts in the area of your child's disability, but experts who are caring guides who are always in your corner!
COS-P is an internationally acclaimed relationship-based parenting program. It is a short-term (10 to 20 sessions) structured approach for parents of children under the age of seven (adoptive and foster families may still benefit from COS-P even if their children are older). It can be delivered individually, with parenting partners, or in a small-group setting. COS-P has proven science behind its effectiveness in giving parents a clear roadmap of how to build closeness with, and independence from, their children (based on attachment theory). Parents are supported by a trained therapist in enhancing their capacities to both comfort their children and promote exploration and autonomy.
The goal of building and maintaining secure parent-child bonds is accomplished by supporting parents to “see” their child’s emotional needs (attunement) and “respond” to their children’s emotional needs even when the child’s need causes internal discomfort for the parent (called “shark music”). The COS-P approach asserts that parents have a universal desire to do the best for their children. This helps parents to courageously reflect on the problematic patterns of interaction between themselves and their child, learn from these experiences, and move forward with new ways of responding to their child’s needs (by being “Bigger, Stronger, Wiser, and Kind”) which facilitate healthy child development.