This evidence-based intervention promotes your child’s ability to be assertive with others in order that his stated and valid needs can be met without engaging in power struggles, intractable arguments, or interpersonal aggressive/violent behavior. This intervention will involve rehearsal time, starting with less volatile issues to be resolved, and then moving to those issues that seem to come up frequently.
The following questions and answers will help to keep you informed and involved in your child’s treatment:
What should my therapist be doing?
- Describing A.T. and the benefits of learning this skill.
- Demonstrating the skill, and then role playing with your child.
- Asking you to participate in the learning, practicing, and role modeling of the skill.
- Scheduling follow-up sessions to assess progress, problem solve, and refine the skill techniques.
What should I be doing?
- Learning the various components of A.T.
- Practicing the skill (perhaps initial practice ought to be with the therapist, or with an adult you can trust, before you help your child).
- Practicing with your child, all the while modeling A.T.
- Considering letting your child take the lead in learning the skill.
- Asking your child to problem solve, giving guidance when needed and asked.
- Offering encouragement, praise, and rewards.
- DO NOT get into power struggles with your child.
- DO NOT make the experience arduous
How will I know if it is working?
- Your child is less anxious, more playful, and easier to get along with.
- Your child shows less concern about social encounters that he previously tried to avoid (e.g., going to school, after school activities).
- Your child will consider you a go-to person to talk about practicing A.T. in real life.
To see an extended example, click here and look at page 40.