T is for THERAPY
Therapy is defined as: “1. the treatment of disease or disorders, as by some remedial, rehabilitating, or curative process: speech therapy. 2. a curative power or quality. 3. psychotherapy. 4. any act, hobby, task, program, etc., that relieves tension.” – Dictionary.com
This is the specific or technical definition of therapy, but I think it is so much more than what is written here. The term is used in so many different ways today, that I think aside from medically necessary therapy, everyone defines it their own way. For us therapy is a part of life, not because Beth is sick and needs to be cured, but because it helps her learn to listen to her body and navigate the world.
Currently all Beth’s therapies are play-based, and we love that she is obtaining new skills while having fun. After all isn’t that what childhood is all about, exploring and having fun? Aside from her school environment and supportive services there, she also has private Speech and Occupational therapies at home once a week. I am sure there are more therapies and programs she can be in, and we have actually looked into many but just can’t bring ourselves to fill all her days with work. Instead we fill her days with play, cuddling, favorite shows, music, exploring, etc… pretty much whatever she wants to do at that moment (within reason of course). Like our marvelous OT tells me all time: “You don’t have to do everything all the time, sometimes you just have to be kids and play.”
There is always a teachable moment, and honestly you can turn anything into therapy, it just depends on how you utilize the situation by combining your child’s interests and abilities. In Our everyday life there are so many opportunities to incorporate facets of her therapy, she does not even realize she is working to strengthen her skills, because she is too busy being a silly, crazy girl. For us the best method to assist her in developing her communication and social skills is through laughter and love. She can handle a serious work environment for short periods of time, but then she is ready to shake off the sitting part and get wild. Movement is one the most Au-some conduits for any information Our girl needs to master. Getting on Our girls level, entering her world and playing with her, is terrific therapy for all of us. To quote Plato: “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.”
Therapy “Our Way” is defined as: “Activities, both structured and unstructured, that help us build upon Our abilities in all areas of development through exploration, play, music, art, movement, etc… It is a family experience and actions always speak louder than words; so we try to incorporate learning and communication into all aspects of our Sensationally Au-Some life.”
Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.