Friday, September 4, 2009

A dream therapist

A dream therapist

The struggle against autism can never be complete without its share of therapists. Good, bad, ugly and some plain rotten. You can’t escape them. Over the years I can pride myself that I can smell a good therapist when I meet one. This again is a spectrum. Some trying to cash in on the problem, some genuine ones and then those that are the in -betweens. Rs.500 for a home visit is no less. I knew a therapist who took no less than 5 calls in a 45 minute session. She had given Ram am a paper and pen to make holes. Then there was one who lectured me for 8 sessions on the evolution of speech in human civilization. Yes, she was a speech therapist. What does then one begin to expect in a dream therapist

* Bonding with the child, this will take few sessions.

* Unobtrusive yet effective, you don’t want the therapist holding the child’s face and forcing him into looking into her eyes.

* Being able to hold the child’s interest.

* Having an element of surprise, it is not about being unstructured. I look forward to his art therapist sessions where she has something new every time, sometimes it colored sooji, flowers, maida dough……An element of unpredictability in an structured environment.

* Plans for the sessions beforehand. Has a backup plan if an idea refuses to hold the child’s interest at least in the early years of working. Starts and ends with a particular activity to mark the beginning and closure of the session.

* Encourages the child with appropriate praises, rein forcers.

* Loads of energy and patience.

* Physical punishment is a strict no-no.

* Avoids saying negative remarks about the child.

* Avoids cancelling appointments at the last minute.

These are the few random thought that came to my mind. My husband adds, and does not charge exorbitant fees!!!!!!!


Crystal said...

Oh gosh, we are really struggling with finding a good therapist. We lose them periodically. It's frustrating.

viji said...

looking forward to your book and good luck

meghana said...

Hi Viji,

I completely agree with you. Putting your child at the complete control of a therapist is challenging. While you have mentioned a few kinds of therapists, there are some who charge even for the auto if their driver is ill or absent or for whatever reason cannot drive the therapist to the destination. I and my husband were not angry, but we pity such people who have made this a commercial business.

First of all charging 500 Rs/- per session is exorbitant and then I was told that I will not have to pay for the auto often, but only when the driver does not come. When I said no, we won’t pay because it was not fair, I was told that other parents do not have problem and they pay. I was shocked. We discontinued the therapist even before he/she could start sessions, but that left us again clueless as to where we start from.

Eshaan is now going to Com-Deall and we are very happy, since he’s progressing well.

Thanks and Regards

Meghana Raikar

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