Raising a child in the 21st century is a lot more complicated than it was a hundred years ago. Not necessarily harder but there now seems to be so much more to consider. These considerations are all for the best interests of the child but for parents it can be both confusing and expensive. There are therapists now for almost everything it can be hard to work out where to start. But if this is the situation for you and you are feeling slightly overwhelmed, then here is a quick guide to help steer you in the right direction.
As therapists go the speech therapist has been around for a long time. I you child has a stutter, battles to say certain sounds or has a tongue thrust then this is the person who can help. Consult with them early if you recognize that there are problems and they will start to work their magic through play or via the use of speech therapy toys for toddlers.
If your child has experienced emotional turmoil or is showing signs of mental health issues, then a great place to start is with play therapy. This is a method of interaction that is generally used to help children under the age of ten to express their feelings and emotions in a safe and controlled way. Generally facilitated by a psychologist it is a great way for children to learn more about themselves and to accept and learn who they are and how they fit into the world with others.
Not just staying busy
Occupational therapy has nothing to do with finding employment or staying busy. The role of the OT is to help people cope with or learn how to perform everyday tasks that for some reason they are struggling to master. Not quite a psychologist and not quite a physical therapist or physio the OT fills a gap between these two. Occupational therapists are the professionals who help children with disabilities integrate at school or who help youngsters who struggle with knives and forks to use utensils. They will work with low-tone children or kids with textural issues. Their area of expertise is broad, but they play big roles in the development of lots of modern children.
Drawing a line
Similar in many ways to play therapy, art therapy is another form of psychotherapy that allows people, adults or children, to work through issues by expressing themselves through art, drawing or working with clay. The basic premise of this form of therapy is that creative expression fosters healing and mental well-being.
Hard of hearing
If your child appears not to listen or doesn’t seem to follow what is going on around them, it could be because they struggle to hear. Deafness or hearing impairments can be hard to pick up at first. But if your child’s speech is delayed it could well be because they cannot hear properly. This is where the audiologist comes in. These health professionals will test hearing and provide solutions like hearing aids.