Exceptional Lives Community Member
July 22, 2021

One Quick Question: “Will my young child with special needs need to do therapy forever?”

If your child has a disability, it may feel like they will be in therapy forever. In this 2-minute video, Anne Hindrichs and Kim Haynes from the McMains Child Development center in Baton Rouge give us the straight story.


Click to Read Transcript

Will my child have to do therapy forever? And what does it mean to be discharged?

Your child’s therapy goals are based on their evaluation that is a snapshot in time of your child’s functioning.

Therapy goals are then based on your child’s progress and may be changed over time. And so they’ll continue in therapy, which sometimes feels like forever, but it’s not. Nothing lasts forever.

So as your child progresses through therapy, then you may continue to keep up with that. But you also could do something called episodic therapy, which is basically your child has therapy, achieves those goals and then stops therapy for a bit and then may go back into therapy after that.

When your child is discharged, it simply means that your child has either met their goals, that your child has plateaued and has stopped working on therapy or that you might’ve had to take a break as the caregiver yourself or your child.

When obviously, when your child meets goals that’s very exciting, but it also means that as your child hits a milestone or has a growth spurt, they may go back for therapy, which again is just part of it. The plateauing part is simply that it’s a moment in time and that your child has reached their potential for that time, but it doesn’t mean forever. And they also may go back when they hit that milestone or as time passes and be reassessed and come back into therapy.

And then lastly you, as the caregiver and even for your child, it’s okay to take a break if you need to do that. If your child’s post-surgery. If you need to be able to really focus on a work project and you just can’t get to therapy right then and there, then it’s all right to stop therapy if you have to. But I do encourage, if you do that, to make sure you go back after or talk to your therapist and continue to kind of keep an eye on your child, as of course you’ll do as a parent anyway.\ Keep an eye on your child and see when you need to return and set that back up. Therapy is meant to help and is a great part of services. But again, it doesn’t have to be forever.


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