Therapists are dedicated, trained professionals that are here to help your child learn, grow and progress. Therapists are NOT miracle workers. Therapists can NOT fix or cure your child in the 1 to 3 hours a week that they see your child. But what therapists can do, is give you and your child the tools and the pathway to take so that YOU can make the progress at home.
YOU, the parent, are the miracle worker. YOU are going to help your child gain the skills they need to function in the real world. YOU are going to help your child make friends and create relationships with others. YOU know your child the best and YOU are person who your child loves the most. YOU are their safe haven.
Your child may participate in a wide variety of therapies throughout each week. The reality is, no matter what kind or how much therapy your child participates in each week, these hours of therapy are nothing compared to the hours your child spends with YOU at home, in the car, at school, in the community, with friends, with other family: THE REAL WORLD.
Let’s do the math. Your child may be in an ABA program and spend 15 hours a week in therapy. Your child may participate in 1 hour of speech and 2 hours of occupational therapy each week. Your child may have 3 hours of play therapy, 2 hours of physical therapy and 2 hours of feeding therapy. Out of the 168 hours there are in a whole week, these therapy hours are only a fraction of their time.
Therapy in an office, a gym, a fun therapy room, a hospital room, a classroom is great. Therapy within the REAL WORLD is even better. Your child’s natural routines and activities are the BEST teaching tools he or she has. We learn and grow through experiences, play, LIFE. It is your therapist’s job to build on your child’s skills and to TEACH YOU how to work with your child in their everyday life. Everyone’s “typical day” is different and as a therapist, it is our job to give YOU, the parent, the tools to help your child learn and grow in their “typical day”. Urge your therapist to give you the knowledge and training to help your child build their skills within their natural environments and experiences, where progress REALLY matters.
We encourage you to use your real life situations to not only work on the skills that your child needs, but to ENJOY your time with your child. Use that bath time routine to increase your child’s joint attention and understanding. Use shooting hoops to increase your child’s turn taking, sportsmanship, teamwork and social expression. Use cooking time to help your child learn safety rules and sequencing skills. Use TV time and break time to learn about emotion words and emotional regulation needs. Use carpooling time to practice securing attention, directing attention and commenting. Taking what you learn from your therapists and applying it in your everyday life does so much more than work on language, fine motor skills, attention, behavior, etc…..but it also BUILDS A TRUSTING RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR CHILD! The possibilities are not only endless, but crucial to your child’s progress.
How your child does during therapy sessions is one thing. How your child does in the real world is another.
Laura and Amanda