It is possible to complete occupational therapy, speech therapy, social skills therapy and CBT at home with your children. Here is everything you need to get started.
My son was hiding under the chair in the doctor’s office, softly rocking and hitting his head.
One minute prior, he had been sitting in the same chair, talking to the doctor all about Ancient Egypt. Then the nurse brought in the syringes for his vaccinations.
In a matter of seconds, my son was trying to escape.
The doctor and I both tried to reason with him, encourage him, assure him that it would not hurt too much and be over quickly.
He looked at us, all curled up and squished, and said, “It’s not the shot. It’s that,” pointing to the blue tourniquet on the tray. After we got past the shots, with much cajoling and the promise of a trip to the bookstore after for a new book on Egyptian history, the doctor looked at me and asked, “Has he ever been evaluated by an occupational therapist?“
Occupational therapy was our first. It was soon followed by recommendations for speech therapy, physical therapy, educational therapy, talk therapy, behavioral therapy, social skills therapy, and even equine therapy.
Therapies For Children
Because both of my sons have needed various therapies and interventions, but have vastly different requirements, we have been exposed to just about everything there is in the world of childhood therapies – good and bad.
We have spent more money on therapies in a month than our house payment.
We have met some of the best people and had great success in so many ways.
We have been bitterly disappointed in certain tactics and approaches, over the moon grateful for such creativity and care, and everything else in between.
It’s a lot. And sometimes, it’s just too much.
Can I Do These Therapies At Home?
The reality is, we are not even doing all the therapies that all the people tell us we need to do.
Speech therapy, physical therapy, educational therapy, and further occupational therapy are all interventions that have been advised for my sons. For various reasons, including not enough hours in the day, we are not doing them with therapists right now.
We may at some point. We may not.
The decisions we make regarding my sons’ treatment plans are carefully considered and weighed against all the other interventions we employ. It is fluid. It changes based on progress, age, development, need and honestly, money.
There is only so much intervention one child can take or should have to for that matter.
Moreover, the longer my children participate in various therapies, the more convinced I am that some of it can be done at home – often with even greater results. In fact, the best therapists we have worked with have a goal of teaching us what we need to know so that we can implement certain exercises and strategies in our real life (not just a 45 minute, one on one session).
While I would never negate the importance of these outside therapies, I would like to share what we have learned and different ways to create a more therapeutic environment at home.
Sometimes money is a factor. Sometimes, our child just can’t handle another session each week. Sometimes we can’t handle another session for our child each week. No matter what the reason, I want to encourage you that choosing to do a therapy at home is an excellent and quite doable option.
Therapies For Children At Home
Please join me in this new series. Over the course five weeks, I will be share various ideas and DIY strategies for completing therapies with our children on our own.
Occupational therapy is all about exercises that help kids in everyday life. This makes it is a natural option to practice occupational therapy at home.
This post has all the strategies you need for OT in your own home – Occupational Therapy at Home: Activities and Resources
CBT can often create more stress and anxiety for children. It certainly did for my son. This post offers practical advice for struggling families looking for at home options – How Do I Help My Anxious Child?
Speech Therapy at Home
Speech therapy can seem overwhelming, but the truth is, if your child is unable to participate in, or perhaps too old for traditional speech therapy, at home solutions might make the most sense.
This post offers ideas for working one on one with your child for speech therapy at home – Speech Therapy Resources.
Social Skills Therapy at Home
While this one may seem counterintuitive, the reality is that social skills building has to happen at home as much as it does in any therapy or school setting. This guide will help you get started – Teaching Social Skills At Home.
Additional Resources For Childhood Therapies
- Speech Therapy Goals: A Step By Step Guide
- How Art Therapy Helps My Anxious Child
- Social Pragmatic Goals In Speech Therapy: Everything You Need To Know
- 25 Ideas For Occupational Therapy At Home (sensory, fine and gross motor activities)
- How Animals Can Help In Occupational and Social Skills Therapies
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.