This section features practices that have demonstrated their effectiveness through rigorous research. These practices have been reviewed by a team of experts and summarized in a way that is easy to understand.
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The Parents Plus Early Years Programme (PPEY) is a 12-week parenting course for parents of 1 to 6 year old children, especially designed for parents to learn to manage their child’s behavioural problems or mild developmental disabilities. The course consists of seven, two-hour group meetings with 8-12 parents and 1-2 facilitators, and five individual sessions with parents, child and a therapist.
The group meetings consist of watching various videotaped parent-child interactions, discussions, practice exercises, role-plays, homework and hand-outs. The video-taped parenting situations cover the topics of being a responsive parent; child-centred play and communication; supporting children’s self-esteem and confidence; promoting children’s language and development; helping children concentrate and learn; building cooperation in young children; establishing daily routines; and managing tantrums, misbehaviour and problems. The sessions are intended not to be didactic but to help the parents discover their own strengths with which to communicate with their child.
In the individual sessions, therapists videotape the parent and child in child-centred play, parent-directed activity, or a home-based routine. The therapist and parent then analyse the video together, and the therapist gives the parent strengths-based feedback, in order that the parent may discover and develop skills and strengths they already possess for effective communication with their children.
PPEY was designed and implemented first in 2003 in Dublin, Ireland by John Sharry and Carol Fitzpatrick at Mater Hospital and it is operated by the Parents Plus charity. Parents Plus is a registered charity established under the Mater Hospital, in Dublin, Ireland. Parents Plus has expressed a commitment to developing evidence-based educational and therapeutic programmes for parents and children and providing training and support to community professionals working with children and families. The programme materials and facilitator training are available for clinics and communities, but complete information on current areas of implementation is unavailable.
This programme consisted of an invitation for 2-5 year old children and their parents to visit an outreach facility in a local shopping area for individualized dietary advice and oral health maintenance instructions, including tooth brushing. Parents were instructed to brush their child’s teeth with fluoridated toothpaste twice daily. For 2 year olds, parents were instructed to give the child one fluoride tablet daily after evening tooth brushing, and for 3-5 year olds parents were instructed to give the child two tablets daily, after morning and after evening tooth brushing. Fluoride tablets and toothbrushes were given to the parents at no cost, and toothpaste was offered at a discounted price. Parents and children were asked to return to the outreach facility every three months between age 2 and 3 and every six months between age 3 and age 5. For parents not fluent in Swedish, translators were available, if requested. The programme operated as a supplement to the local public dental service, so that children received normal preventative and restorative measures according to their individual needs. In Sweden, all normal dental care for children younger than 19 is free from the Public Dental Service. This oral health outreach programme operated originally in the low socioeconomic, multicultural suburban area of Rosengård in Malmö, Sweden where the water had low fluoride content, between 2000 and 2004. It continues to operate in the Rosengård area and three other districts of Malmö as well as several other towns in Sweden.
The New Forest Parenting Programme offers training for parents of children under the age of 3 exhibiting ADHD symptoms. The programme consists of 8 weekly two-hour, one-on-one in-home training sessions for parents to learn about ADHD and how to manage their child’s behaviour. Half of the sessions are for the parent and child together and the rest are for the parent alone. The programme was originally developed and implemented in Southampton, United Kingdom. The main points of the parental training include routines, countdowns, reminders, voice control, and identifying distractions. Each week builds on the previous week. The content of the 8 home visiting sessions is described as follows in Sonuga-Barke, et al., 2001:
1. Discuss characteristics of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, acceptance of child, effectiveness of simple interventions, commanding and retaining attention, and eye contact. Emphasize importance of praise. Introduce behavioural diary.
2. Reinforce message from week 1. Look at diary and discuss parent’s feelings about behaviour during week. Emphasize importance of clear messages, routine, countdowns, reminders, boundaries and limit-setting, and avoiding confrontation.
3. Reinforce messages from previous weeks. Examine diaries and discuss parent’s feelings. Discuss temper tantrums; emphasize firmness and voice control, avoiding threats, and the power of distraction
4. Reinforce messages from previous weeks and ensure that they have been implemented. Introduce concepts of time out and quiet time.
5. Review weeks 1—4, focusing on problems identified and solutions given. Assess parent’s ability to implement strategies. Review diaries, isolate examples, and discuss how parents cope.
6. & 7. Observe parents and children in interaction for 15 minutes. Give feedback to parent on observation especially in relation to quality of interaction. Underline the importance of behavioural techniques discussed and illustrate with examples from the previous weeks.
8. Reinforce messages from previous weeks. Focus on one or two of the key areas of particular concern for each client. Diaries should be used to identify these and to provide examples of good practice.
Catch Up® Literacy is a UK-based, structured, book-based, one-to-one literacy intervention for learners in aged 6 to 14 who experience reading difficulties. Its main objective is to improve word recognition and language comprehension skills for children who have been struggling to learn to read. The intervention is based on providing children who are facing reading challenges with one-to-one (individual support) 15-minute sessions twice a week.
The Catch Up Literacy intervention is divided into four stages. In the first stage, assessments for learning are conducted in order to identify the focus for intervention and thus target it to the needs of the individual child. In the second stage, a book with the appropriate level of difficulty is chosen; the choice is informed by the outcomes of the assessment conducted in stage one. In the third stage, the child attends two 15-minute individual sessions per week, during which the child reads the chosen book and then undertakes a related writing activity which addresses one of he identified miscues. Finally, in the fourth stage, the child’s progress is continuously monitored to ensure that the intervention keeps on fulfilling the child’s changing needs.
The school-based alcohol education was designed to change knowledge, attitudes and intentions toward underage alcohol use and abuse in middle school students. The programme was implemented in seventh grade classes of students between 12 and 15 years old at 16 secondary schools near Hamburg in the Schleswig-Holstein region of Germany in 2006. The programme consisted of four interactive class lessons, a booklet for students and a booklet for parents. Teachers participated in a three hour training session about the content of the intervention and the intended delivery structure. Over a three month period, teachers were to distribute a booklet containing information about alcohol and consequences of alcohol use including violence, dependence, medical and economic effects to students and a booklet containing general information about alcohol, interactions with children and behaving as role models to the students’ parents. Over the same period, teachers were to teach four class lessons, on the following subjects: legal requirements, advertisement, dealing with peer pressure, and acceptable contexts for alcohol.
Last updated: March 2014