Occupational Therapists (OTs) do not approach treatment as a one-size-fits-all model. Pediatric OTs work in many different settings, such as preschools and elementary schools, hospitals, outpatient clinics, and in the home. While all settings can boast of certain benefits, there are several positives to in-home therapy that are unique and can rarely be found in another setting. Below are just a few ways in-home occupational therapy may be a good fit for your child.
In-home therapy occurs in your child’s natural environment, so it is easy to show the therapist what your child is having difficulty with. Progress is made quickly since the therapist will be able to work with your child on the elements that are most important to his or her day-to-day functioning. In-home therapy is immediately effective, as the child does not have to take the extra step of transferring the new skills he or she has learned in the clinic to their home setting.
Your child is in his or her natural environment, which is undoubtedly the most comfortable setting for them to learn. Children may confuse a clinical setting with the “doctor’s office” which can cause anxiety. An outside setting with new sounds, smells and people can also cause unneeded distractions that can hinder therapy progress. When your child feels comfortable and safe, as they do in their own homes, they are much more likely to open up, which allows the therapist to make more progress.
As any parent knows, it can sometimes be a challenge to get your children ready to go out of the house, especially in the snowy, winter months. In-home occupational therapy takes the hassle out of treatment, because the OT travels to you. The therapist will come at a set time each week. If you have more than one child, you don’t need to worry about keeping them occupied while in the clinic or finding a babysitter. There is no hassle of traffic, and no waiting for appointments in an office.
Since your child sees the therapist in his or her own home, you are a big part of the therapy process! Your child will see that you are involved and are proud of them when they succeed, which can be the biggest motivator in the therapy process. Therapists are also able to work with you by walking you through the methods he or she is using so that you can contribute to your child’s development outside of formal therapy sessions.
In-home therapy is a great way for you to get to know the occupational therapist who will be working closely with your child, and a great way for you to stay involved in your child’s therapy. The convenience factor is just icing on the cake. The many benefits of in-home therapy may ultimately lead to faster, more effective results for your child! It is always important to discuss possible plans and recommended environments with your occupational therapist. Only they can determine which setting is the best fit for you!