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The Strength-based Approach


The Strengths-Focused Approach

If you are a newbie to Say Hooray, you may have heard the term “strengths-focused” or “strengths-based” being mentioned or you may have seen it on our website. It is a philosophy we believe very strongly in and is a guiding principle we use when providing therapy for children. So what does it mean and why is it important?

Strengths-focused means that we highlight what the child CAN do rather than zeroing in on what they are having trouble with at this point. Celebrating the skills and abilities of the child improves their confidence in themselves and doesn’t make them feel like something is “wrong with them” or that they need to be “fixed”.

We use these existing strengths to then build on the areas they are having difficulty with. Think of it this way: if someone asked you to assemble a large cabinet which you have never done before, and they jumped straight to expecting you to put all the parts together correctly, you’d struggle quite a bit, wouldn’t you? But what if your supporter started with reading the instruction manual, which you know how to do, and matching the drawings to the parts in front of you? Let’s say you don’t know how to assemble the back and side panels, but you know how to screw in a screw, so your supporter gives you the opportunity to use your skills while helping you with what you haven’t learnt yet, showing you how it’s done. It gets easier right? That’s the approach we like to take with children. We discover what they can do and weave it into the support they need to improve what they can’t do just yet.

Not only is this approach more successful in achieving outcomes, but it also provides a foundation block of positivity that is central to everything we do at Say Hooray.

We want children, ten years down the track, to look back on their memories of speech therapy and remember it as fun; as a place of support where they were celebrated as the unique individuals that they are.


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