The SPARC 

The Sequential PARent Curriculum (aka The SPARC) is designed to address very early developmental delays and signs of autism which emerge in infants between 9 and 18 months of age. 

The SPARC is is comprised of 12-weekly lesson plans targeting early childhood social and communicative development through parent-mediated intervention and coaching. 

The SPARC combines the foundations of natural environment teaching, functional communication training, verbal behaviour, motivation and shaping procedures as the primary methods of teaching early social communicative skills.

It is the first pre-diagnostic comprehensive treatment model to teach language using a verbal behaviour framework.

 Why is a Parent-Mediated service delivery model  so important? 

Different or atypical child development can often lead to atypical parental responsiveness. For example, a child may occupy themselves for an extended period of time by lining up their toys into various geometric shapes and every time the parent tries to engage with the child or toys, the child gets very frustrated and upset. Over time, the parent may feel more reluctant to try and engage with the child during this time because this often leads to challenging behavior or meltdowns. However, this may result in the strengthening of those rigid repetitive behaviours along with the challenging behaviour increasing all while missing out on valuable social engagement.

By teaching parents how to maximize the engagement with their child and turn daily routines into learning opportunities that practise and teach social communicative skills allows the parent to feel more competent and effective at engaging with their child. This can act as a protective factor for parental stress, anxiety and depression all while moving their child’s developmental forward. 

 

By using a parent-mediated service delivery approach, the transaction parental cycle which may be maintaining or increasing problematic behaviours can be reversed and begin to further aid the child’s social, communication and play development.

 

The SPARC in Action 

The SPARC is a 12 session curriculum which will focus on how to:

Follow your child's lead and interests 

Have more fun with your child and expand the activities that make them smile

Set up your environment for success 

Practice imitation (gross motor, fine motor, oral motor and vocal)

Teach and encourage the use of gestures such as waving, pointing, giving objects and showing objects 

Encourage joint attention and referencing 

Create learning opportunities across play, bath time, meal time, dressing and other daily routines. 

Build the foundations for future  communication and learning

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