In an effort to build trust and rapport, to cultivate student buy-in, and to generate clearly articulated goals for our work together, we recommend that your child’s first hour-long appointment with us act as an intake session.
The intake session is an opportunity for your child and us to get to know one another through icebreaker activities and casual conversation. For the first 30 minutes of an intake session, we will learn directly from your child what is going well with their school experience and what challenges they face. In this way, we hope to offer some agency to the child, as appropriate, in determining the scope of the work ahead.
Typically, after this introduction, parents are reintegrated into the conversation for the following 15 minutes. We will summarize with the child what was discussed, and the parent(s) will have an opportunity to share what is important to them in terms of setting goals for the work. We will then lead the family in setting an initial series of goals; ones that are clear, assessable, and agreed upon by all involved.
The final 15 minutes will be preserved for parent(s) to speak with us without the child present, to have space to discuss any sensitive topics. While initial logistics will have already been determined, this time can also be helpful to reconsider them (i.e. frequency and content of sessions) based on the goals set between everyone.
We have found that taking this time to build rapport, to engender buy-in, and to set clear goals develops a strong foundation that ultimately allows us to make the most of the time moving forward. Finally, it is very helpful in placement decisions and the pairing of a child with a qualified specialist.