In this post, I am mostly referring to Pediatric Therapy of Speech (SP), Occupational (OT), and Physical (PT) Therapy. I am only versed in these three types of therapy because my daughter is currently in them or had them in the past! I am not a medical professional, this is solely my opinion as a parent! A couple of weeks ago I was talking to one of my childhood friends and she explained her child was recommended for pediatric therapy, and she was scared of the unknown. Being a parent who has had a child in therapy since she was 6 months old, I knew I could help in this area! I knew I could explain therapy to her in common terms.
A lot of times as a parent when services are recommended for your child you feel as if there is something wrong with your child. I often share that therapy is a service to give your child more practice! It’s a service to help your child learn to do something, or give them more aid in working on a particular skill.
At one point my daughter was receiving Speech, Occupational and Physical Therapy. I won’t lie to you, it was a rough patch getting her to three different appointments. However, attending these sessions was one of the best things that we could’ve done for our child!
“Speech Therapy is the assessment and treatment of communication problems and speech disorders (website).”
“Occupational Therapy helps children gain independence while also strengthening the development of fine motor skills, sensory-motor skills, and visual-motor skills that children need to function and socialize (website).”
“Physical Therapy help kids improve their range of motion, strength, flexibility, and movement patterns (website).”
What to Expect in your Pediatric Therapy Session…
No matter what type of therapy your child is attending it will either start with the first appointment in Pediatric Therapy is an evaluation appointment. The evaluation will either be conducted by the actual therapist or a therapist that only does evaluations.
From this appointment, you (as the parent) will find out where your child is and a plan will be created. The evaluation purpose is to help the therapist see what methods should be used as well as to help in the creation of the best plan to help your child.
The second appointment is usually the beginning of the actual therapy.
In my personal opinion, I think therapy is a “play-date” with work included! For example, in speech therapy for my daughter, she and the therapist play lots of board games, and games in general but there is always work associated with it! Usually after therapy of any kind my child would be exhausted because although some of the activities are fun, there is a lot of work associated with it.
From here, you will repeat these appointments either multiple times a week, weekly, or every couple of weeks.
When my daughter was younger we would go to her appointments with her. However, as she got older, we would let her go to her appointments alone. We noticed is that when we were in her appointments she would look to us for confirmation before doing anything. Now we prefer for her to go to her appointments alone (once we were comfortable with the therapist), and we debrief with the therapist at the end.