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BY Natan

Finding a therapist for your special needs child: 4 points to ponder

When a child has special needs, finding the right kind of treatment for him or her can be a daunting and stressful task.

Depending on where you live, there may be a variety of options available for your child, from government funded therapy to private therapy and home therapy. Among these, it is important to find the therapist that fits your child’s needs. So how do you as a parent choose the best therapist for your child? This post will help by providing tips to make your search much simpler.

1. Experience

When searching for therapists, looking at their credentials is vital as you will be able to determine what they specialize in and whether it suits your child’s condition. It is also important to look for a therapist who has the training and education to work with your child’s condition and age.

A therapist’s experience in pediatric care and neurological disorders would also be highly beneficial to your child’s development.

2. Integrative treatment

The job of taking your child from one clinic to the next can be tiresome, time consuming and ineffective if all of the therapists are not on the same page. Instead, look for programs that provide various therapies at one location, where the therapists all work under one objective, and are able to communicate with one another about your child’s improvement.

3. Therapy is a partnership

The improvement of your child depends immensely on the efforts of both you and the therapist. Try to find a therapist who will let you observe the treatment and teach you how to continue your child’s therapy at home.

It is always a good idea to talk with the therapist and communicate what you hope to achieve from it. That way, both of you can set goals and benchmarks that will make it easier to measure your child’s progress.

4. Believe in yourself and your child

All in all, remember to always trust yourself. Even if your therapist looks great on paper, if the connection doesn’t feel right then it is best to follow your intuition. You are your child’s best therapist and advocate and if you don’t trust the person or feel they don’t understand your child’s needs, keep searching.

It might take you a few visits to fully evaluate the therapist and see just how compatible he or she is with your child. If one doesn’t match with your child, don’t be afraid to change your treatment program. A good therapist will respect your decision, and understand that you just want what is best for him or her.  Once the child and therapist are in sync their achievements will be exceptional.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to drop a line and we’ll be happy to help in any way we can.


Written on August 13, 2012 by:

Natan Gendelman is licensed as a physical therapist in Russia and Israel. After moving to Canada, he was certified as a kinesiologist and osteopathy manual practitioner. Natan has more than 20 years of experience providing rehabilitation and treatment for conditions such as cerebral palsy, autism, Down syndrome, pediatric stroke and acquired brain injury. He is the founder and director of Health in Motion Rehabilitation, a Toronto-based clinic whose main objective is to teach their patients the independence necessary for success in their daily lives.

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