A child’s job is to play, learn, and grow. A pediatric therapist’s job is to increase functional use of skills which allow a child to do just that. I believe the best place for a child to build these skills is the everyday environments in which they have to function.
My experiences working as both an outpatient and school based therapist have led me to see a disconnect between the therapy room and real life. I often find myself ecstatic that a client has mastered one of his goals, just to be disheartened by a parent stating the skillset has not been utilized a single time outside of therapy.
Natural environments can include the client's home, a regularly visited park, the grocery store, a local library, etc. What better place to work on money management skills than a teen client's favorite coffee shop? Similarly, play skills are best practiced with siblings or neighborhood friends.
Caregivers are encouraged to actively participate in speech therapy sessions. The therapist will train caregivers to set up the environment, utilize a cueing hierarchy, and model target behaviors while simultaneously working with the client. Family involvement paired with the use of materials found in the home leads to more regular implementation of techniques to support desired skillsets.
Please reach out if you would like to further discuss this service delivery model and how it can benefit your child!