DIY Therapies For Children: Can I Do This At Home?
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.
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 This 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.
DIY Therapies For Children
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.
Sign-up below and receive the entire series, in a single downloadable ebook for ease of use and reference.
Or, take a look at the week by week posts here.
Week One: Occupational Therapy at Home
Week Three: Speech Therapy at Home
Week Four: Social Skills Therapy at Home
Looking forward to it,
Shawna Wingert is a special education teacher turned educational consultant, and mom of two brilliant boys who have learning differences and special needs.
Shawna has also written four books: Everyday Autism, Special Education at Home, Parenting Chaos, and Homeschooling Your Child With Special Needs. A passionate advocate for individualized education, Shawna is frequently featured on Today.com, Simple Homeschool, Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers and The Mighty. She can also be found supporting parents online at her own site, DifferentByDesignLearning.com.