Learning your child could benefit from physical and occupational therapy can be intimidating to some parents. Despite knowing your child better than anyone, you may be confused by health evaluations, treatment plans, and established goals. You may be wondering what the role of parental involvement in therapy is, and if there is really a place for you since you have not been professionally trained.
However, children benefit from having their parents fully engaged and committed to child therapy strategies and techniques. It is essential that parents understand the purpose and goals of therapy and how they can support progress.
What is Child Therapy?
Child therapy helps children manage and overcome developmental issues whether physical, behavioral, or cognitive. While many parents think of therapy as talking with a counselor or therapist – which it can be – it can also include physical and occupational therapy to work on fine and gross motor skills, balance, sensory issues, and much more.
Process of Child Therapy
A team of trusted experts will work with you to evaluate your child’s needs and abilities and create therapeutic strategies that align with established goals. As a parent, you play an important role in sharing your own observations and concerns. You can also help with determining goals and what you would like to see your child be able to do.
Goals of the Treatment
The goals of treatment for physical and occupational therapy are often to provide child development support and help children function more independently. This could involve strengthening muscles, improving hand-eye coordination, coping with different sensory environments, feeding or dressing themselves, or enhancing endurance. Goals will depend on your child and their needs and abilities.
Why is Parental Involvement Important?
Parents are the Child’s Teacher for Life
Children are constantly absorbing information from the world around them, and especially from their parents and what they see at home. Positive, consistent parental involvement helps children to learn essential skills, builds their self-esteem, teaches coping mechanisms, and guides interactions with others. When parents are committed to a child’s success in therapy, children feel more invested and motivated as well. They want to do well even when not in the presence of their therapist.
Treatment Programs Can Extend at Home
Another benefit to involvement in child therapy is that the strategies being used can be implemented and reinforced at home. Parents can ensure children are continuing to work on important skills and practicing them as they were taught. They can also support child development by helping their child apply what they are learning to different environments and situations.
There are plenty of activities that a therapist can teach parents to practice with their child. For instance, art therapy exercises can be fun but also reinforce fine motor skills and initiate conversation through self-expression.
Family’s Support Keeps Child Physically and Emotionally Stable
Parent engagement research has shown that a parent’s perception of therapy and parental involvement can influence outcomes for their children. When parents are invested in what is being worked on and the benefits it can provide, children are more likely to be as well. Carryover of exercises provides more consistency and reinforcement, and parents can be a positive source of encouragement, which helps emotional development in children.
Provide the Best Level of Care with Therapeutic Movements
As a parent, you want the best for your children and strive to meet their needs. When child development support is needed, occupational and physical therapy from Therapeutic Movements can play an integral role in helping children develop essential skills.
Through occupational therapy, children often work on fine motor skills that can help with grasping utensils or pencils, buttoning a shirt or pants, cutting paper, and performing activities of daily living. However, they also build social skills and learn to how to interact more effectively with others and regulate responses to different stimuli.
By engaging in physical therapy, children can strengthen muscles and joints, improve balance and coordination, build endurance, and enhance mobility. This can play an important role in promoting independence and helping them to navigate the world around them whether recovering from injury or illness or managing physical disabilities.
Therapeutic Movements supports children in working on all of these skills and more. Therapists work collaboratively with parents to develop and implement a treatment plan that fits their child’s unique needs and goals. Everyone works together as a team, and parental involvement is central to this. Parents can learn therapeutic strategies to support their child at home and in the community. If you are concerned about your child’s development and worry they may be delayed or struggling to overcome challenges, contact Therapeutic Movements today. We’ll work with you to determine the best course of action to help your child thrive.
Talk to the team at Therapeutic Movements to find out how you can be more actively engaged in supporting your child’s therapy and progress.