Starting occupational therapy or physical therapy can be an exciting and empowering time for both you and your child! If you’re new to therapy, there are a few things that your child’s therapist may want you to know.
Play is Hard Work
It may look like your child is just playing with their therapist, but there’s actually a lot of hard work going on as well. Play-based therapy helps children to have fun and stay motivated while they’re exercising important muscles and developing essential skills. Your child’s therapist chooses which exercises your child will do very carefully based upon the specific needs of your child. So, even though there are a lot of toys to play with and the clinic may look like a big playroom, there’s still some serious work happening during therapy sessions.
There’s Homework Involved
Therapy is an ongoing process that needs to continue to be reinforced after leaving the clinic. Especially if you only have therapy sessions once a week, you should be doing exercises with your child at home. Think of it like learning to play the piano. You have to practice if you ever want to play at Carnegie Hall!
Failure is a Part of Learning
Some things just won’t work on the first try. It may be necessary to shelve an exercise and bring it back later after your child has has mastered a few other exercises. The important thing to remember is that your child’s therapist is always striving to find what works for your child and pushing your child outside of their comfort zone, which helps them to make progress!
We Want to Hear from You!
Your therapist may be working one-on-one with just your child, but they care about how their therapy impacts the family and how your child is progressing at home. Even if you aren’t present during the therapy sessions, be sure to talk to your child’s therapist about how the sessions went, what your child did well, what they need to work on, and what they should do at home. If you have a great moment or a breakthrough at home, be sure to share it with your therapist! Your therapist loves hearing about the progress your child is making.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (202) 561-1110 (Washington, D.C. office) or (301) 577-4333 (Lanham office). Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.