For more information about PCOM's School Psychology Program, click here.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My first STEPPS experience

In the EdS program, we have the unique opportunity to demonstrate our knowledge through an experience known as STEPPS.  This is essentially a simulated parent feedback experience in which trained actors pretend to be the parents of a referred child and listen as you explain the results of “your” evaluation.  My first experience with STEPPS was tonight and it was great! 

So the process works like this.  The program coordinator emailed us two evaluation reports two days before our meeting date.  We got the chance to review the reports, take notes, and prepare for our meetings.  We were allotted 45 minutes for the meeting with each parent.  I admit I was a little nervous but I just kept telling myself that I was meeting with an “actor” and that I could act like I knew what I was talking about…

But really, it was a great experience.  I set up an agenda for our meeting and I explained the report results, listened to parent concerns, and discussed what the next step in the evaluation process would be.  I made sure to ask clarifying questions such as, “Does that make sense?” and “Do you have any further questions?” to ensure that the “parent” was following and had an opportunity to be heard.  I even brought out a laminated normal curve to explain standard scores and percentile ranks.  After the meeting, the “parent” left and both the "parent" and I had time to fill out an evaluation of the experience including comments about the flow of the meeting, the connection between the "parent" and I, and how well I incorporated the "parent" concerns into my feedback.  After ten minutes, the “parent” returned and we had a conversation about how we thought the meeting went and whether I could make any improvements.  The feedback that I received was very helpful.  At times, I spoke a little fast which could be interpreted as rushing the meeting.  But I also received feedback that I connected well with the "parents", was empathic to their situation and child, and gave just enough detail about the results without inundating the parent with jargon.

I was videotaped during each session and these tapes will be sent to school psychologists to be reviewed and commented on.  The STEPPS experience will occur again next year and I expect to see improvements in my delivery, approach, and knowledge!

Here are some testimonials from my fellow cohort members about their experiences:

"Enjoy the experience, because it is helpful!" -Ben

"The experience was great.  It was great exposure!" -Eren

"Both of my "parents" were very nice and had helpful feedback.  Great learning experience." -Liz

"Try not to get stressed about it!  The standardized parents/actors were SO nice." -Katie

No comments:

Post a Comment