Discovering that your children have special needs can have an array of effects on you. You might feel worried, scared and alone; you may feel a sense of motivation to help your children overcome their struggles of a special needs education. But once a diagnosis is made, be it specific of general, the specialists will craft a program of study suitable for your children in order to grow up happy – starting from home.
Before children are of school-age, therapists are often sent to the home to work with the children. The type of therapists depends upon the needs of the children. For example, a child struggling to talk will likely work with a speech therapy. A child who has physical disabilities will likely work with a physical therapist. Children often have multiple therapists who come to their homes. Creating an environment conducive to learning involves both the therapist team and the parents to communicate effectively with one another.
Discussion of Rules, Boundaries and Practices
Parents need to know that harm does not exist in asking a question. In fact, when they ask questions, they are often able to create an environment that is better for both the therapist and their children. Parents should find out if they are expected to intervene in therapy sessions. For example, if the children are not listening to the therapist, the parents need to know if they should step in to discipline or if they should let the therapist handle it. They should also find out in how close of proximity they should be when the therapy sessions happen. These factors might seem small in comparison to the larger picture, but they can really affect how successful a session is.
Create a Space for Therapy Sessions
Speak with the therapists to find out if they need a particular type of space or access to certain tools for their sessions. Then, you can use those requests to carve out a part of the house where the therapy session will take place. The area should be comfortable for the therapists and your children, but not so comfortable that your kids are inclined to lose focus. For example, setting up the therapy session on couches in the playroom with the television in immediate sight is probably not the best idea.
Entertain Other Children
If you have multiple children, your other little ones may be interested in what is happening when the therapy sessions are occurring. It is fine to be honest with them and to tell them, but you should not allow them to interfere with the sessions. If your presence is going to be needed during one or more of the sessions, look into hiring assistance to watch the children or asking a family member to take the kids out for awhile. When your other children interrupt the session, your child with special needs is not receiving the attention that he or she deserves and requires.
Along the way, keep the lines of communication open with the therapist so that you can integrate suggestions for creating an environment more conducive to learning when necessary.