Is it possible for parents to do therapy for their children with special needs? I am sure this question is frequently raised by parents during this pandemic as I myself has this same question.
During the pandemic, my son has not gone for therapy for the past 1.5 years. I would have engaged a home therapist if I had the financial capability to do so but life has been bleak during this endemic and prioritise our household income. I have no options left and decided to become a therapist to my child.
It's not easy to be a self-taught therapist. Learning ABA (Applied Behavioural Analysis) is difficult as most ABA books are quite scientific and sources are limited. English is not my native language hence needed more time to understand the context, It can be frustrating but rewarding when I overcame the barriers. Therefore, I would like to share my experience with everyone.
Firstly, I had to look for a home program. I contacted some professionals to assist me but there was a long waiting list. Finally, when I got a home program from a BCBA, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, I was relieved. I admired the Behavioural Analyst as she is knowledgeable and contributed a lot to the world of autism. She provided a well-structured home program and guided me on how to execute it. I was also coached by a young woman who is nice, well-experienced and very communicative. Both had supported me and was optimistic about providing home therapy for my child with special needs.
From my experience, professionals must be involved in developing the home program and then guiding us when we are doing the prescribed home therapy. I have two sessions per week with the professionals. Each session lasted an hour. There is a review after every 1.5 months. From these sessions, I learnt new techniques which helped my son to improve his skills and achieved the milestones required.
Secondly, I try to free my schedule to join live webinars to gain more perspective about Autism Spectrum Disorder. Eblity is my favorite platform for special needs because Eblity presents interesting topics delivered by professionals in various fields. I hope there will be more breakthroughs made by Eblity to support parents, therapists, teachers, and others who are involved in the special education community.
Thirdly, we need to remember that we are not superheroes and we can feel vulnerable at certain stages of our lives. We should not hesitate to ask family members for help as we are attending this program. Everyone in the family must be involved in achieving the target together as a family instead of only us carrying that burden..
Finally, we need to schedule a self-care day. It's crucial because it helps in carving time to pursue our hobbies and feeling rejuvenated to conquer the day; for myself, it's to set objectives for my son's home program. My hobbies are journalling so I spend my time, reflecting on my daily habits. I enjoy watching serials as it's an escape although it's short-lived.
As parents, we spend a lifetime with our children and we are familiar with their needs or wants. We are their greatest support system hence embark on this journey with them and be patient with the process. Once they have made progress, you'll reap the rewards as well.
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