Asking a child to attend therapy sessions is beyond the norm for the usual childhood routine of playing, attending school, and participating in sports. This is especially true for the child who may need therapy in more than one area (e.g., Speech, OT, PT). However, if the therapy was not essential to the child’s welfare and development, he/she wouldn’t be here.
Here at LLA Therapy, we strive to make our therapy sessions fun, as well as targeted to our goal of improving your child’s abilities. As enticing as our sessions may be, sometimes children experience “therapy burn out”. A sign may be that the child resists coming to the therapy appointment. If this is the case, please alert your therapist, as he/she can help sort out the issue and make suggestions. At times, the child may complain of coming to therapy, simply because he/she would rather be playing with friends or chilling out at home (Don’t we all want to do that?!). For those children, they are usually just fine during the sessions. For certain children (especially grade-school age or older), the prospect of “graduating” from therapy can be just the motivation needed to work hard (especially on homework assignments) in order to shorten the therapy process.
For other children who may be showing resistance to therapy, following are some of the different things to consider:
Does the child still require the same amount of therapy?
While a child may need more therapy when starting the process, it is possible that improvement has reduced the need for as much frequency. For some children, going to a less-frequent schedule (e.g., every other week to weekly) may work well, but for others, there may be the chance of regression. Your therapist can help you decide if a reduction in services is a good option for your child.
Are other factors affecting your child’s willingness to attend sessions?
For example, therapy may be scheduled too close to your young child’s nap time, or your older child
may be too tired from school and sports practice to attend a later session. If this is the case, please talk to the therapy team including the scheduler and your therapist, so that they can find a more suitable time for your child.
When the first two factors have been considered, is there a Plan B, C, D, or E?
In other words, we therapists have a lot of options in our bags of tricks! There are different approaches, techniques, and activities we can use to motivate a child. We are trained to recognize when something is not working for a child and can try a number of different ideas. We have a wonderful staff of therapists who collaborate with one another, so the possibilities of what we can do to help your child are endless! As always, please speak with your therapist (or any other staff member) if you are not happy with any aspect of our services. We want to know, as we always want to make things better for our families!
What do I get in return?
Since the therapy process is a challenging one for some children, especially those with more significant needs, a little reinforcement may be a good thing! It may be as simple as getting a little treat after a session or as elaborate as using a chore chart to keep track of home practice and therapy attendance. Your child may want to work toward a bigger reward by earning a certain number of stars, stickers or points for practicing and attending therapy. This will teach your child early on the
value of working hard to achieve a goal.
Give me a break!
When all else has failed, sometimes children do need a break from therapy. At our center, we refer to this as a “clinical vacation”. Your therapist may make a suggestion as to how long a break your child can withstand before it becomes detrimental to his/her progress. Many factors are considered when taking a clinical vacation, such as the child’s current needs, age, and family support. Insurance and/or
scholarship factors may also dictate the length and feasibility of taking a break, so
consulting with your therapy team may help answer some of these questions.
The bottom line is that we want to make the therapy process work for you and your child. Please let us know how we can help!