What is Chat?
Chat is a language-based treatment model for children ages 6 and under. In Chat, clinicians teach parents and caregivers how to support their child’s development of language, play and social skills while also addressing challenging behaviors in daily activities. This service line is provided by licensed mental health clinicians (Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) with mid-level support from a qualified service professional who has experience implementing behavior modification intervention who have been trained in the Chat program.
Caregivers will fill out a Milestones Checklist and a behavior assessment. The clinician leading the assessment will observe the caregivers and their child interacting naturally together over the course of one or two meetings. The assessor will also ask about the child’s current routines, how they play, any behaviors of concern, as well as the caregivers’ goals and priorities for treatment.
Chat involves teaching parents and caregivers essential skills for child development, including how to track their child’s milestones and find learning opportunities within their child’s daily routines. While the child is involved and the primary beneficiary of Chat, the intervention teaches parents essential skills to support their child’s development in areas such as language, social skills, and play. Caregivers and clinicians will submit videos of their interactions with their child and review naturalistic teaching strategies during appointments. Treatment is a blend of caregiver training, direct intervention with the child, and supporting day-to-day interactions.
What are the Goals?
The goals of Chat are to encourage language and social-emotional development, like increasing expressive communication (for example, talking or signing) while giving parents and caregivers the skills to teach their child during everyday routines. Individual goals for each child are determined by developmental milestones, behavior concerns, and the family’s routine.