The start of a new school year often means many new clients, bringing new excitement and new challenges. As I get to know these children and their families, there are so many things I wish they knew to help put them at ease and enjoy the therapeutic process. To keep it short and sweet, I narrowed it down to my top 5.
1. I love my job
It involves a lot of difficult tasks, patience, and pushes me to learn about myself every day, but I love my job. Your child is why I wake up in the morning and is why I feel fulfilled when I go home every night. No matter what happens in session or how well your child reaches their goals that day, I will still love my job and be thrilled to see them again next week.
2. Your child is not the first
They are not the first to scream in the middle of session for seemingly no reason. They are not the first to try to dart out of the room due to fear, anxiety, you name it. They are not the first to say a hurtful thing because I pushed them too hard while working on a new skill. Your child is not the first to do these things and will not be the last. Never feel ashamed or afraid of what might happen. I have seen and experienced a lot, and I’m still here. Your child’s behaviors help me develop new interventions and ideas to help them succeed and reach their fullest potential.
3. I am here for you
Though I work directly with your child, I am also here for you. I am here to give you guidance and knowledge based on my experiences. Feel free to be open and ask me questions that will help your child grow and develop. I see your child once a week for an hour, you see your child many hours a day. I am 1% of their life. The more you learn, the more they can learn.
4. Your child CAN
I often give children tasks to complete in a session that may be difficult or brand new for them. Give your child the opportunity to try. Often times, parents and aides immediately jump in when they think their child can’t complete the task at hand. A lot of the time, your child can. Give them the chance to show you how amazing they are. They may not complete the task as quickly as the friend next to them, but they can do it in their own time with the appropriate amount of support.
5. Give it time
I see the hope and joy on parents faces when I walk in the door or when they walk in my center. They are so excited to see the amazing things their child will accomplish in music therapy. While I know we will reach many goals together and develop new skills, it takes time. Long-term growth takes many sessions, but has a higher probability of transferring to real world situations. Give your child the opportunity to enjoy the session and reach their goals at the best pace for them. Every child learns differently and grows at their own speed.
I hope all of my current and future clients get a chance to read this and know that I mean every word. I am so thrilled to be doing what I love and every second I get to do it is the best moment of my life. Feel free to share these words of wisdom with other families. I can almost guarantee every therapist that serves a child in need feels similarly.
Be sure to follow Dynamic Lynks on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for even more autism tips and tricks!