After the diagnosis, the next step is usually therapy. Unfortunately, most Nigerian parents interpret “Therapy” as total almost instant recovery of the child and when this does not happen [and it usually doesn’t], they end up going from therapist to therapist, looking for that therapy miracle. How does this happen?
First thing some parents do, is to earmark a certain amount of money, get a therapist, then give the therapist a time limit for the child’s recovery to take place. The therapist and the child are left to their devices. If no recovery is seen in a month or two, it’s time to get a new therapist; this adversely affects the child’s progress.
Well, researches have shown that team approach to therapy is the most effective. This team includes the Occupational Therapist, Special Ed. Therapist, parents and siblings.
The rehab team does not necessarily need to have all the professionals shown above; just the ones important for the child's therapy program.
The “Total recovery” mindset should be replaced with “Total independence” mindset which could in some cases, become full recovery.
This Total independence mindset should be translated into goals and goals broken down to daily tasks and drills which are fully supervised by an experienced professional from the rehabilitation team. The family should monitor and participate in these activities and follow up too.
Taking care of a special child is not easy and it is understandable that one would want the child to recover and have a good life [as quickly as possible too] but the truth of the matter is that the road to total independence is a long one, it takes time, work and patience.
While we give these fantastic parents kudos for their great work, the therapists should be appreciated too and if they [parents and therapists] can work together, we have an A-team.
Okay, I just had to put up this movie poster.
Images courtesy of :awayfromtheoven.com