Go-to Homebound Therapy Tips for Your Medically Complex Child
By Ericka Polanco Webb, Sinking Heels of Motherhood
WWith school closures and e-learning in full swing, many students are being kept busy and have resources they need to maintain some sense of academic normalcy during the COVID-19 crises. Meanwhile, medically complex children are faced with additional challenges besides academics.
Many parents rely on therapies that are facilitated during the school-day to assist their child. These therapies are what keep medically complex children mobile and help eliminate trauma or further regression with their current diagnosis. With this, parents are in a tough situation because they do not have the guidance they need to help through this time.
Your Special Needs Child is in Great Hands…Yours
There is hope! Although children are all homebound for many weeks ahead, there are things that can be done at home to mimic the therapies your child may need. Here are some tips to help you during this time.
- Take a look at your child's latest IEP and assess the goals and recommendations section. As a Master IEP Coach, this is where you can help your child tremendously by having a clear understanding of the therapies your child has been receiving and how they impact their development.
- Leverage the communication with your child's instruction team. Ask the team for resources and potential video chats to help you mimic the therapies they have been performing.
- Use YouTube as a resource to provide you with more visuals and information. There are thousands of videos from therapists worldwide sharing tips for families.
- Contact your insurance provider and ask about Teledoc services or virtual therapy solutions.
- If your child has orthotics, remember to use them at home for the instructed amount of time that has been prescribed.
These tips and suggestions may not be universally appropriate for your child, due to their needs, but this is a way to help you jumpstart ideas.
Physical Therapy is not a 'Stretch' to do at Home
For stretching and movement, YouTube is a fine resource to use. There are tons of videos providing you with ideas you can use. Here is one.
If you have apparatuses like a stander, gait trainer etc. at home, create a routine and leverage it to get your child moving.
Homestead Occupational Therapy
Again, leverage YouTube for videos that show examples and provide ideas for you to mimic at home. There are so many wonderful resources Check this one out.
If you have children older than your medically complex child, allow them to assist with activities to make it fun for your child. This is also a productive opportunity, for the children to bond and engage in socialization.
Make a Safe Space
Create a space for your child that can offer them calmness when they are feeling overwhelmed, check out this article for helpful ideas to get started.
Be Mindful of the Emotional Toll COVID is Taking
Create opportunities to ask your child how they are feeling. Start a journaling activity and initiate talking prompts that evoke conversations. During this time, you can affirm your child and give them positive reassurance about their feelings.
Virtual therapy sessions are an emerging option for many people. Services like Teledoc are available to assist with virtual therapy sessions. Also, you can call your insurance provider and find out more about these services.
Speech Language Pathology Resources for Kids with Communication Challenges
YouTube is an excellent resource for this! Speech Sisters offer practical tips for parents to model at home.
Reading to your child and using flashcards is another way to encourage speech skills.
ABA Therapy from the Comfort of the Playroom
This sounds redundant, but online videos are an outstanding resource. Additionally, check with your therapist and ask if there are videos they suggest or if they are willing to video chat with you. Here is a great resource.
During this time, parents of medically complex children have a lot on their plate (I am one!) and it's important that we do what we can to keep our kids healthy and thriving. But parents, remember you do not have to do it all in one day. During this time, it's crucial that we don't overwhelm ourselves with being perfect; rather, do what we can do to get us through the day. YOU'VE GOT THIS!
About the Author:
Ericka Polanco Webb is a motherhood blogger, content creator and an advocate for all things Motherhood. She has a Masters degree in business and a passion for inspiring mothers to challenge the system and find purpose and community along their journey. When she is not writing or taking care of the children, she freelances as a digital media consultant and serial entrepreneur. She's a wife and mother to five children of which one teen has cerebral palsy. Connect with her via Instagram @sinkingheelsofmotherhoodPre-Register for Abilities Expo Today...It's Free!