Is it possible for parents to do therapy for their children with special needs? I am sure this question is frequently raised by parents during this pandemic as I myself has this same question.
During the pandemic, my son has not gone for therapy for the past 1.5 years. I would have engaged a home therapist if I had more money but life has been more difficult during this period and I need to prioritise our household income. I have no choice but to become the therapist to my child.
It is not easy to be a self-made therapist. Learning ABA is difficult as most ABA books are in English and the sources are limited. English is not my mother tongue and I need more time to understand my readings. It can be frustrating. But it is rewarding when I overcame it and therefore, I want to share that experience with everyone.
Firstly, I had to look for a home program. I contacted some professionals to help me but there was a long waiting list. Finally, when I got a home program from a BCBA, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, I was relieved. I admired the Behavioural Analyst as she is knowledgeable and contributed a lot to the world of autism in Indonesia. She provided a well-structured home program and guided me on how to execute it. I was also coached by a young woman who is very nice, well-experienced, and very communicative. Both of them supported me and made me optimistic about providing home therapy for my child with special needs.
From my experience, professionals must be involved in developing the home program and then guiding us when we are doing the prescribed home therapy. I have two sessions per week with the professionals. Each session lasted one hour. There is a review after every 1.5 months. From these sessions, I learnt a lot of new things which helped my son to improve his skills and achieved the milestones required.
Secondly, I try to spend time joining live webinars to gain more knowledge about Autism Spectrum Disorder. Eblity is my favorite platform for special needs because Eblity always presents very interesting topics delivered by professionals in various fields. I hope there will be more breakthroughs made by Eblity to support parents, therapists, teachers, and other people who are involved in the special education community.
Thirdly, we need to remember we are not superheroes who can do anything without any help. We should not hesitate to ask other family members for help when needed to do the program. Everyone in the family must be involved in achieving the target together as a family instead of only us carrying that burden..
Finally, we need to schedule some me-time. It is important because during this time, you can relax and do what you like and forget all the work. I love writing so I spend my time writing what I feel. It helps me to stay normal. I sometimes watch horror movies or Korean dramas. After having me-time, I feel refreshed and ready for the next targets of my son’s home program.
We are the ones who spend 24 hours with our children. We are the ones who know them better than anyone else. We are the ones who are always there for them. So, do not be afraid to try. Once you see they are progressing, all the hard work is paid off.