Currently, coaching is increasingly applied to foster the involvement of families with an infant or young child with special needs in early intervention and paediatric rehabilitation. Coaching practices are included in many forms of intervention and are regarded as essential to reach beneficial outcomes for the child and family. There are, however, many ambiguities that blur the concept of coaching and hamper its understanding and integration as an evidence-based approach in early intervention and paediatric rehabilitation: lack of differentiation between coaching and training of families, for example. Challenges to incorporate coaching into professional practice relate to adult learning processes and knowledge acquisition, and transformation of attitudes, beliefs, and treatment habits. In this paper, we review the barriers encountered and the possibilities available to promote successful implementation of coaching in early childhood interventions.
What this paper adds
Literature defines coaching ambiguously, which hampers its implementation in early intervention.
The term 'coaching' should be reserved for relationship-directed, family-centred intervention.
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