Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Enough therapy?

When Alayna was born we learned about a fabulous infant development center locally that specializes in therapies for kids.  This center has had thousands of kids with down syndrome over the years.

Luckily, they had an opening and when she was about 3 months old our therapy journey began.

While I was so very thankful to have such a great facility and staff at our fingertips, it seemed so wrong to have to take my baby to "therapy."  I understood the need for therapies to not only work with Alayna, helping her learn new skills and train her body to do things the proper way but also to show me what I could be doing with her at home to help her development.  However, it still felt so different from my parenting experience with Aidan.

After a few months my brain got wrapped around the idea of weekly therapy and I began to truly enjoy this time watching her physical therapist and teacher and learning from them.

I then learned about another opportunity in our area where therapists come to your home at no cost to us. However, me being the "more therapy isn't always a good thing" girl I declined for the moment.

When Alayna was older and up moving around more we decided it was a good time to add an extra therapist. We added a great occupational for a few months and then Alayna began having a speech explosion so we changed the OT to a fabulous speech therapist.

We remained at this infant development center and had our in home ST until Alayna turned 3 then she (and Dariya) transitioned to the school district's preschool program.  They both receive ST, PT & OT each week at school and are making huge strides in all categories.

Last spring I began reading about therapeutic listening.  With the girls going to kindergarten next fall we wanted to give them the best opportunity to hone their skills so decided this was something we wanted to try especially with Dariya but also Alayna.

We found an OT that specializes in therapeutic listening and began the program in June.  The girls are really enjoying this OT session each week.  We decided to continue this OT during the school year and in September added an extra speech session with a therapist in the same place.

Over the years I have learned that therapy of some sort is probably always going to be in our schedule. While I don't think piling session after session is going to produce bigger outcomes I do think there are seasons when an extra therapy might be needed in the girl's lives.  For example, we would love to add a hippotherapy but, have enough therapy in our schedule now and that can wait.

I guess I write this all to say don't just do therapy because someone told you it would be good for your child or that it is free or whatever the reason.  Examine your own child and see where their strengths and weaknesses are and go from there.

What is your opinion on therapy?

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