Sunday, September 2, 2012

10 tips on having a good home therapy program

The fabulous chairman of the company I used to work in ( till yesterday ) used to say that there are only two secrets to having a successful company 

First , Hire good people

 Second, Treat them well 

This is great advice for running a home therapy program - DH and I have had a home therapy programs for 5 years now and here are some things we learned.( of course, this is just our experience) 

We had a special situation in that there were not many new therapies available in our area . Despite this we had great therapists and R did well !


1. Heart 

In our experience good therapists  have a combination of heart and head - We had the good instincts to never ignore  the former.

2. We looked  for warmth and kindness. 

Its always puzzled me that while autisim is a disorder of social relatedness, many parents will not treat the power of the therapists social interaction with the child Many of our kiddos start their programs when they are mere babies . R particularly did much better with therapists that loved him and showered him with affection ( who wouldn't?)

3. "Different not less" attitude

We hired people who did not treat R as disabled and who saw his strengths as well as his opportunities . 

A child's spirit and self esteem are precious things and must be nurtured above all else 

4. Positive attitude  : 

the other day I was talking to a mum of a 4 year old who said that her speechie wondered aloud that her child would probably never talk .

Our speechie and therapists never said that even though R barely had any words till 5 . 

Its good to be realistic but we found it was better to err more on the side of being cautiously optimistic ( guess what? R talks a lot now ) 


5 Pay well if you can 

We always paid a little above the average market rate. ( our area was a little affordable, so this was possible for us to do  ) 

Since we were paying for a lot of therapy for a lot of years we had to find ways to afford it without putting our retirement in jeopardy 

One such way was,  when we were doing ABA was to have a senior BCBA who would create the programs and then have more younger implementors 

But also dont think that the rate really  reflects the quality - R has had magical  therapists who charge $ 18   an hour and we have had ( briefly ) pretty useless people at $150 an hour

6. Have team meetings 

The biggest benefit of team meetings is that therapists got together and were able to brainstorm together on something that they were each facing with R .

Plus - team thinkings the hallmark of a custom therapy program - one of the biggest mistakes we can do is I think to have a bunch of therapists doing a bunch of things 

Its also a venue for you to share all that you are learning from other parents, training programs etc 

Its much better when there is a concerted effort around one goal - (that changes as the needs of the child change - in our case our goal started out pretty basic - learn the point of communication and then became progressively more and more complex to  reading comprehension and play )

While having team meetings can seem expensive - I think its something that really pays off
7. Always follow through with what the therapists suggest -

 if the therapist recommends using PECS then we knew R would learn PECS much faster if we used them all day - rather than just the 3 - 4 hours in the day that he was with his therapists 

8. Have realistic expectations : 

Teaching children is not easy - teaching autistic children is definitely not easy
9.Encourage creativity : 

Our therapist team frequently had ideas that are not traditional ( like doing communication therapy in the local bounce house or the swimming pool ). These sessions eventually became our normal !

 10. Treat your  therapist like you would like our therapist to treat your  child !!

Our  therapist team were all of them very altrustic people and they were in it to help kids like R. 

Most therapists feel nourished by words of praise and thoughtful gestures and so we lavished this on ours

Have you told your child's therapist lately that you love her? We did ! A lot !

Floortime Lite Mama and Floortime Lite Papa would like to thank the amazing therapists that helped raise their amazing child 

Thank you Miss Gypsi, Miss Tori , Miss Kristen, Miss Sadie, Miss Erin,  Miss Alicia, Miss Joanna, Miss Melissa, Miss Scott, Miss Holly, Miss Joelle , Miss Chrsten, Miss Michelle

We  are richer for knowing you

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Floortime lite mama blogs about love, life and autism at
Thanks  to Mrs Kristen Jones and Ms Sadie Anderson for contributing their ideas 
I  write on Hopeful Parents on the 2nd of each month ( Asked  Christina Shaver to change date from 5th  as my good friend Di also posts on the 5th and the attention her lovely posts should get -gets shared and she agreed  - Thanks Christina) 


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  2. From my experience in therapy clapham's home services, you will need to be very attentive and be hospitable to the people who you will welcome to your house. It is an increasing practice where therapy is less stressful in your home.

  3. Thank you for sharing!So glad to know you.
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