There Are Tons of Therapy and Treatment Options!

The good news and the bad news is that there are many therapy and treatment options available for your child.

How do you sort through your potential choices?

While I do not have ALL treatment options listed, I have put together a list of the top four.

When most adults think of treatment or therapy , they think of lying on a couch while you pour out your problems.

For kids, it’s a very different process. They may spend their time coloring, drawing, swinging or role playing, depending on the type of treatment.

Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive and behavioral refer to different methods of applied psychology that differ from the more traditional “talking” approach. This one requires more work at home on your part to supplement the time spent with the therapist. It focuses more on conditioning and learning new thinking skills.

This approach is more effective because it tends to be more concrete and goal oriented. You identify a specific problem and work on a solution.

You are typically allotted a small amount of time at the end of your child’s session where you can talk about strategies for the week. The psychologist can, and should, coach you on how to use the strategies at home.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy (OT) is a powerful tool to help your child rewire their brain. The OT is able to evaluated your child, set goals based on their observations, and work towards those goals during each session.

There is a wonderful book about how OT works with sensory integration called, Building Bridges . It’s a good read and most parents find it helpful because sensory integration issues mingle with many of the other spectrum and developmental disorders .

So, during an OT session...

Your child may need to work on motor planning and awareness of self in space. The OT might set up an obstacle course in the room. Your child would work on using those specific skills to traverse the course without falling! If they complete the course, they were successful in integrating those systems needed tom complete the task. If they fail, they fall in a safe, padded room, get up , and try again!

A Medicating Psychiatrist

The medicating psychiatrist does not offer therapy services directly to the child; rather, he or she as the ability to lead everyone else in a general direction. They are the chief of your team.

If you are considering medication, but are hesitant, they are the person you need to see. They are the most qualified to treat your child with a singular or combination of medications. Your pediatrician can give you a referral, if they feel it will help.

Mommy Therapy (or Daddy)

Let us not forget the most important treatment option…help for you. Regardless of which of the above services you use with your child, remember, you need time to address your concerns as a parent. There are always new twists and turns, sometimes on a daily basis.

You are in the trenches every day. Every good parent needs support; the parent of an out-of-the-box child needs it even more.

Let’s face it: it’s exhausting both mentally and physically.

At some point in each session, take time to discuss any concerns you have, no matter how mundane.

I’ can’t get my child to sleep…

How do I get them to try new foods????

He or she is excessively afraid of….

How can I get them out of the house?????

A good therapist should coach you and leave you with some bits of advice that you can implement as soon as you get home. These little jewels of wisdom are lifesavers!

Remember, a car can’t run without gas. You are the same way, except your “gas” may be sleep, relaxation, peace, resources, or connectedness. An exhausted parent (mental or physical) isn’t an effective parent.

There are many treatment and therapy options available to your child; many more than I’ve mentioned here. The phrase I keep in the back of my mind when trying to decide what to do is this: Follow the path of the child. You can’t go wrong.