Tuesday, June 16, 2009

5 Ways to Get the Most Out of a Therapy Session

Pediatric therapy sessions last for only a short period of time. A common frequency of pediatric therapy is visit per week for a 30 minute sessions. It is very difficult to make substantial change during 30 minutes. Therefore, during each therapy session, therapists should be offering carry over of skills to the classroom and home. Here are 5 ways to get the most out of a therapy session:

1. Teach strategies that are appropriate for the child's level and the care giver's level. Certain techniques require several teaching lessons for an adult care giver. In addition, once a technique is taught do not forget to review it in the future.

2. Children learn new skills through multiple practice sessions. Offer suggestions on how specific skills can be practiced over and over during the course of a regular day.

3. Provide visual directions and hand outs that offer more information on specific techniques or activities. This can provide predictability for the children and review for the adults.

4. Be very specific on your expectations and suggestions by setting realistic goals for the week until the next visit. Teachers and parents have other children that they are responsible for on a daily basis. Make sure the goals set are achievable. For example, "Johnny will practice putting his shoes on at least one time per day each day this week".

5. Remember to allow children to be children. This might sound obvious but children enjoy playing and having fun. Boring tasks may result in non compliance or behavioural issues. Keep practice tasks fun and novel. Vary tasks when able and allow children to choose what activities to practice. Act like a child yourself and you may get better results. Follow the child's lead. You may land up learning more than the child.

For simple activities to carry out throughout the day check out Therapeutic Activities for Home and School.

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