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05/10/2016 | Other

How to save time, money AND get great therapy results…tips from those in the know

It seems contradictory, I know.  To suggest that attending your therapy appointments frequently and as recommended will actually potentially SAVE you money in the long run?  Well it’s absolutely true – well in most cases, anyway!

We know from the extensive research conducted on the frequency and intensity of therapy, that more intense, frequent therapy in the early stages (particularly true in children aged 0-6) produces better outcomes in the long run. In fact, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Early Intervention Package is based almost entirely on this premise.  It is for this reason that we almost always recommend a burst of more frequent sessions to our clients, so that we can target the issues at hand, head on with the goal to remediate any concerns and/ or provide a stable base on which to build further skills.

Therapy can sometimes be expensive, particularly if you are accessing private services.  Medicare and Private Health insurance covers only so much of the fees.  For this reason, we understand if families wish to ‘stretch out’ session, opting for fortnightly sessions off the bat.  We do however urge families to consider that more intensive treatment, early on can have such a significant impact that you may not require more lengthy treatment for months (or years) down the track.  We know from evidence that in many cases, less frequent sessions over a longer period of time can have less impact on outcomes, making it harder for us as a team to reach the goals we are working so hard to achieve.

The impact of this then?  Families leave therapy thinking that it ‘hasn’t worked’. That the money they’ve spent has been all for not.  Or they may push on, continuing therapy for an indefininte period of time, inching their way slowly towards their goals. But then the goal posts may shift – as with the rapid rate of child development, you are always working to catch up!

With this in mind I’ve put together a handful of simple but practical tips that can make all the difference between good and great outcomes!

1. Attend therapy at regular intervals, as guided by your therapist

Attending therapy sessions is essential for success. It is a way for you and your children to learn new techniques, practice under the guidance of your therapist, get the support and encouragement you need and work towards those important goals!

2. Be present in the therapy sessions

Where possible, be part of your child’s therapy sessions. You will be your child’s therapist at home so let us teach you how!  Our therapists will skill you up and your kids will love you being there – it’s a win/win.

3. Do your (child’s) homework

Your child will love that we wrote this. But in all seriousness, completing any practice activities set by your therapist will only result in better and faster outcomes which means kicking goals earlier and subsequent earlier graduation from the school of SK!

4. Talk to your therapist regularly and candidly

Make sure you mention any concerns, ask any questions about what is happening in therapy, ask why they are doing a certain task. We try our best to explain as we go but sometimes get caught up in the moment.  If you aren’t sure, please check!

5. Please let us know if you can’t make it

Our therapists spend a lot of time planning for sessions, including reading past case notes, contacting schools or specialists, and planning and preparing activities/ materials/ resources to have fun in session.  Please let us know if you can’t make it as this allows us to offer the appointment time to other children and helps us manage our time better too.

6. In saying that, please don’t cancel unless you really need to!

We understand, life happens. Kids get sick (and parents too!), cars break down and finances can sometimes limit us.  Thinking back to the goal setting you’ve done with your therapist and the planned schedule of appointments, missing a fortnightly appointment for example can mean a month between appointments which can limit progress and those great outcomes we’re working so hard for. So if possible, reschedule!