A Parent’s Perspective: Navigating the Therapy World

Elizabeth has been in therapy since she was 2.5 years old.  She is now 26.  This means that she has been in some form of therapy for over 23 years.   Her therapies over the years have changed to suit her current needs and her age. As an example, even though she still has some misarticulations when she speaks, she is, we feel, too old to be going to “speech therapy” so she now sings to keep her mouth work going. So it is therapy but in a nice age appropriate way.

Suffice it to say that we have navigated the therapy world for a long time and in that time, we have learned so much.  Some things I wish we had learned in an easier fashion than we did and other things we find ourselves simply grateful for the knowledge gained.

With all that being said I wanted to share with you 3 things I wish I would have known about therapy that I hope will help others. Maybe as they start therapies for their child or continue to navigate the therapy world. And please remember, I am no expert here! Just a mom who has done some serious leg work over the years


As wonderful as therapy is for your child, the therapist has to be one you feel comfortable with and one who shares the same vision for your child. 

It is important to talk to the therapist and or a person at the facility to describe your child to them and see if you feel they can meet your child’s needs. I am a firm believer in listening to one’s instincts and if they are positive about the therapist or the facility then you are off to a good start. But if it is not working out, trust me, it is okay to make a change and find a therapist who completely fits your child’s needs, personality, and goals.

We had an experience with one of Elizabeth’s early speech therapists.  She seemed like she really wanted to help Elizabeth, she had the experience and so we began therapy with her.  It was good until it wasn’t.  The therapist was slowly getting impatient with Elizabeth and her sensory needs.  Slowly getting tired of waiting for her to warm up, so much so that her voice was sharp. And I could see Elizabeth starting to become more anxious instead of the other way around.  As hard as it was to begin the search for another therapist, I knew in my heart it was the right choice.  It was this move that led us to our next therapist who proved to be a perfect fit for Elizabeth. One who was with us for a very long time.  

So, listen to your heart!


Therapy is a marathon, not a sprint. It does not fix the problem the first time you go. Nor the second time.  In fact an important thing I was told a long time ago was that therapy is a slow process.  One that takes patience and one that will show you gains but at a slow pace.  Therefore, It is so important to think, before you start to schedule a therapy, Is this something I can manage long term.?  Maybe it has to do with the number of therapies per week or maybe it is the time of day that the therapy is available or maybe it is the distance you need to travel to go to therapy.  All these factors and more need to be thought about because they all play a role in whether you can manage this schedule for the marathon you are in.

I remember that at one time in Elizabeth’s life, we scheduled speech therapy 3 times a week at 4 pm.  It was a 35-minute trip to therapy.  This meant that it took us over 2 hours to accomplish this therapy.  Elizabeth was tired, her sister was in the car directly out of school.  We tried to snack on the way home and then by the time we got home, EVERYONE was tired, cranky, and overwhelmed.   This schedule was just not manageable for long.  

So, take time to really think about all the factors as you plan your where, when and how often of the therapy schedule and something to remember is that more is not always better.  


We all hated it as kids and as a parent it is kind of overwhelming to fit it into your day. I have always maintained that good organization if so important in managing the follow-up therapy at home.

But I advise you to get a notebook or folder and write down what is said to you as it is being said to you from the therapist…trust me you will not remember it all and even if you think you will you won’t.

Then ask questions of the therapist as to how to work in the “homework” in the day’s activities…. like if you are working on a certain sound then as you cook or do a puzzle you can focus on the sound then and your will have done some of the homework…

I felt it was important to make it part of the day or else it was not going to get done and AND IT NEEDS TO GET DONE. And it is easier to work it into the natural flow of the day than to announce to your child that it is speech time and sit down at the table to work.  I found that, for Elizabeth, the natural approach to speech homework took her anxiety down and allowed her to have fun with the homework and this made it easier to do it the next day.  After all, so much of the success of speech is the follow-up at home. It takes work but it can be done!

I hope these suggestions help to make a difference for someone reading this and to that person, I also want to say: You can do this! You can make a difference in your child’s life!

Be back next month!


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