4 Things Your Child’s Developmental Therapist Wants You to Know
1. It’s not your fault. Parents and caregivers often feel shame when their child’s behavior is not what they—or others—expect. There are a number of reasons why a child might benefit from therapy, and sometimes we simply do not know the cause. We DO know that most caregivers want the best for their child, and they do the best they can to help their child thrive. My job as a therapist is not to shame you or critique your parenting skills— my mission is to empower you by giving you support, guidance, and resources to help you foster your child’s development.
2. Your child needs to feel safe. I encourage every family to be active in therapy sessions for several reasons, one of which is that the child feels safest with their family. Therapy is fun, but it’s also hard work. Your child will likely feel more comfortable if they are: (a) in their natural environment and (b) with people they love. The natural environment can include home, daycare, the park, a restaurant, a swimming pool, or a community event. People who participate in therapy may include parents, siblings, grandparents, school friends, pets, and/or teachers. My goal is to meet your child where he or she is—this is when a child feels safest and most comfortable.
3. Therapy will look like play…because it is. Play is a child’s primary language—it is how they learn. When your two year old is playing with Mr. Potato Head, he/she is learning about spatial awareness, body parts, colors, following directions, motor planning, and attention skills… and the list goes on! The same can be said for playdough, coloring, outdoor play equipment, music, and board games. For infants, tummy time with the use of rattles, mirrors, and musical toys can encourage all five areas of development. Therapy involves toys, games, food, laughing, singing, and anything else fun!
4. YOU are the most important member of the treatment team. As a developmental therapist, I have one hour each week with your child. You are with your child for the large majority of each day, and you know them better than anyone. You offer not only information, but a relationship, that I as a therapist cannot match. You have the right to ask questions, express concerns, and share what is helping at home. Although I may have an idea of where a child should be developmentally, every child and every family is different. I collaborate and create goals together that are most important to your family’s daily routines. If there is one statement that I can make to a child’s primary caregiver, it is this: YOU MATTER, and I am here to support you as much as I am here to support your child in therapy
This is how we empower families at Kidsource! To learn more about how we work to build relationships with families and equip them to help their child succeed through our early intervention program, please call to speak with a Patient Coordinator today: 501-315-4414.