Therapists are part of the package when you have a child with a disability, and there are so many of them: physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapists, and on, and on.
My children have had as many as 4 therapists at a time and when I had a crazy busy schedule full of therapies, school, and work the relationships I built with those therapists were invaluable. This is not to say that I never disagreed with any of them. I have fired a fair share of therapists
These therapists usually see our children for a very short amount of time, and so it is critical that we develop trusting relationships with those therapists. We know our children best and they have the knowledge of how to help them achieve certain goals. It’s important that we as parents communicate openly, honestly, and in a collaborative manner to foster a trusting relationship. It is also critical that the therapist be willing to listen to the parents, ask parents what goes they want to see accomplished, and take the time to teach the methods they are using in therapy so that the parents can work on things at home.
Here are 4 tips for fostering a productive relationship between parents and their therapists.
- Open communication- parents relay the goals you want for your child and how your child learns the best, therapists should listen to the parent’s goals and teach parents how to be successful at home.
- Review goals regularly and make adjustments when necessary. This is so critical to the success of any program. Einstein once said that “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” Be open to new methods of doing things and make sure that your child is progressing on their goals.
- Parents you can watch sessions so you can learn the interventions and watch the therapist work with your child.
- Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to admit that you don’t know what you don’t know. We are not therapists and we don’t know how to do what therapists spend years learning. Ask questions and be open to their responses.
We did a whole webinar on DAMES focusing on this topic.
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