As occupational therapists, we would LOVE to think we are superheros but let’s get real we don’t wear capes and we definitely don’t have a magic wand to “fix” the difficulties. A lot of the times I meet parents and think, “YOU are the one that wears the cape”. You are truly a superhero. You are the one that is with your child everyday. You know that certain noise or face they make when they need something. As their true superhero, we (your child’s occupational therapist) need your help. But truly, your child is the one that will benefit from it.
A home activity program is usually given to you after each therapy session. It’s the exchange that sounds something like, “Your child was GREAT today, here are some papers that show what we did, and this is how you can work on this at home”. Somewhere in between a sibling or the child being treated in running toward the door, into another child, or is figuring out exactly what “that button” does. The information is quickly lost or forgotten and I can’t even blame you. However, I encourage you to truly listen to what is being said, take in all the information, and make the effort to work on it at home.
In outpatient therapy, as what I do, your child is being seen 1-2 times a week for around 1 hour. During this two hour per week span, we try to work on all your child’s goals. But usually, it’s only for about 5-10 minutes each. During this time, we are trying all our “tricks” to see which one works best and which one doesn’t (it may even explode in our faces). Then we go to you and teach you so you can REALLY work on it. In the rest of the hours in a week, we leave it up to you.
Your child’s occupational therapist removes the cape, that we originally borrowed from you, and passes you the knowledge with the returned cape. So now I am asking and begging you to do the activities in your child’s home activity program. Doing these activities in the home, no matter how silly, will help your child. The work you do at home, means your child’s occupational therapist can work on finding new tricks and teach you more. Just think of it this way, thee more we do now, the less we will need to do later. Which means the more independent your child will become.
At the end of the day, all the superheros in your child’s life, including yourself, are working for the same thing. We want your child to be as successful and independent as they possibly can. We are a team of cape-wearers, with you as the true hero.