5 Ways Special Needs Kids can get the most out of Occupational Therapy
Children with special needs often go for occupational therapy to develop the skills and abilities needed to carry out everyday tasks. These include play, self-care routines, education, and social interaction.
Whether it is in school or in a private setting, it is important to make the most of the time spent in therapy. Here are 5 things that every parent can do to ensure their child gets the most out of occupational therapy sessions:
- Keep them comfortable
Children who undergo occupational therapy sessions have to do a lot of active movements. Therefore, it is important that the child wears comfortable clothing such as t-shirt, sneakers, and sweatpants that allow him to move freely and get the most out of therapy sessions. Try and avoid still or scratchy fabric textures and remove irritating clothing tags as these might be a distraction during the session.
- Share a thorough history of your child
Make sure you provide the occupational therapist with a summary of your child’s history. Let them know about any important details related to your pregnancy, your child’s birth and medical history, and also previous therapy evaluations. Discuss your child’s likes and dislikes as well. The better the therapist comes to know your child, the more likely they are to bond, which will lead to more meaningful and successful therapy sessions.
- Discuss Therapy Goals with the therapist
As a parent, you know what activities and tasks your child struggles with on a daily basis. It is important for parents to be involved in setting a child’s goals for therapy. Talk to the therapist and tell them what is important to you and your child. You can also include your child’s teacher when setting therapy goals. Working together as a team helps your child get the most out occupational therapy treatment.
- Communication is the Key
Proper communication with the therapist is important when your child is going for therapy on a regular basis. Parents can send a communication notebook to therapy with their child. They can even share any information that they need to so that the therapist knows if there is anything important going on in the child’s life since the previous therapy session. For any critical issues that a parent needs to discuss with the therapist, a phone call or face-to-face meeting is always better than sending it in a notebook.
- Take part in a therapy Session
Many occupational therapists do not allow parents to sit through a therapy session. However, talk to them if it’s possible to observe or participate in the treatment process. Doing so will help you see and understand how your child experiences and responds to therapy. Also, make sure you ask the therapist about what role she’d like you to take, whether it’s staying in the background and observing or getting involved in the treatment. You can also ask the therapist if it’s possible to video record a session if your child does not do well when you’re around.
As a parent, you know your child the best. By providing the right information about your child and sharing your concerns and goals for the therapy, you can help your therapist understand the unique needs of your child.