Keep On Truckin’: Continuing therapy over summer break
by Karman Hagelston
Happy Summer everyone!
School’s out and routines are changing, some of these changes are great, others can be a set back. A major predictor of success, whether it be in school academics, sports, music, dance, theater and yes even in speech, occupational or physical therapy is not just practice, but consistency of practice or rehearsal. If something is important in your life, consistency and practice will be what matters most to facilitate progress and change.
Parents often ask if a 2-3 month break in therapy during summer vacation will affect progress… The answer is, “Yes! It absolutely will impede progress”. Either no progress will be made or they will regress!
3 reasons why maintaining therapy attendance is so important:
- Practice – Regularly scheduled treatment sessions and Home Education Plans provide routine practice and practice always helps to master something new or different
- Advancement – Good attendance at therapy and frequent practice at home leads to faster progress!
- Improved Retention – Inconsistent attendance or little practice at home can lead to slow or plateaued progress or even loss of skills
Of course, life happens. Children get sick, emergencies come up and many families take a vacation during the summer months, but if at all possible– it is crucial for parents to be great allies for their children by consistently sticking to his or her recommended therapy schedule both at the clinic and at home.
Here are some tips to getting the most out of treatment for your child:
- Don’t be late: Lateness cuts into treatment time. When you are running late, your child’s therapist is forced to cut out activities, making hard decisions on which treatment activities are more important. The catch is they are all important activities!
- Practice makes perfect: To learn a new skill or overcome a challenge, repetition is key. If you miss out on a session, your child gets less practice.
- Take steps forward, not backward: Everyone gets sick sometimes! But, too many missed sessions can delay progress or even sabotage skills that have already been learned. Be sure to schedule make up therapy appointments missed due to illness, other appointments or vacation.
- Consistency can mean quicker progress: Attending therapy sessions can mean extra time in the car or time away from home. Just remember that this time is worth it! The more you commit to your child’s care plan, the quicker they will see progress!
We look forward to seeing everyone at the clinic this summer!
Karman Hagelston, M.S., CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist/Clinical Manager – Spring