Grandview Kids is the lead agency for the Ontario Autism Program – Durham (OAP-D), a local partnership providing programs and services to children and youth with Autism.
In 2021, the OAP-D was selected by the Province of Ontario to offer Caregiver-Mediated Early Years Program as part of the Ontario Autism Program. Grandview Kids offers one of three programs in the Durham Region, known as the Social ABCs.
After several months of intensive fidelity training, four members of Team Grandview have successfully become Social ABCs coaches through Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.
Rosie, what was it like becoming a Social ABCs coach? How did the fidelity process impact your own practice?
For me, becoming a Social ABCs coach was really eye-opening! I have been a clinician for many years but this was a very different way of providing coaching for parents. Social ABCs provides supportive, in-the-moment coaching. We identify the impact on the child and it was amazing to see the difference in parents’ skills with this style of coaching, as well as their confidence!
In order to become a Social ABCs coach, once you’ve completed the training, you must submit “coaching fidelity” videos of you implementing the program to the Holland Bloorview Team. The team reviews the videos with you so that you can see how you’re doing and how to improve. The fidelity process really allowed me to see what was working with my coaching and where I needed to make changes to better impact my families.
Kathiga, how did the fidelity process impact your practice?
It is often hard to capture the success of parent strategies in a concrete way. I think the fidelity process really helped highlight the importance of ongoing evaluation to help guide the focus of the remainder of the sessions. It also helped me work towards an end goal.
Vareesha, what has been the most significant benefit of the program?
The most significant benefit has been watching the immediate change in parents’ skills and confidence within themselves during the seven-week program. In this short time, we really get to work with parents to build a close bond with them and build a sense of community as they get to interact with other parents in the weekly parent sessions. This program really focuses on positive self-building and growth. The most empowering message a parent told me in a coaching session was:
“Thank you for giving me the confidence to be able to interact with my child and connect with them on a level I never thought was possible.”
Karen, what have you seen as the most significant benefit of the program?
The most significant benefit to the Social ABCs program has been empowering families to connect with their kids in new ways! We have had parents say that their child won’t play with them, or doesn’t acknowledge them, and by the end of the program, they are smiling and laughing together!! Families have varying levels of success with the program, but across the board, we have seen improved connections, which build the foundation for future learning.
Karen, what do you want others to know about Social ABCs?
Social ABCs is a positive, gentle program, that teaches children how to coordinate their voice and attention to keep fun interactions going. It also teaches parents strategies to connect and share smiles and laughs with their children – building the foundation for future social interactions.
Grandview Kids is proud to offer the Social ABCs as a caregiver-mediated early years program. If your family has received a letter of invitation from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, visit https://grandviewkids.ca/caregiver-mediated-programs/ to learn how you can enroll in the Social ABCs.
Check out more Grandview Kids articles
- Celebrating care closer to home
- Bridging the gap
- Meet members of Grandview Kids’ incredible team of volunteers!
- National Volunteer Week 2022
- Getting to know… our Social ABCs Coaches