Being a parent of a child with autism, ADHD or some other chronic health issue has its share of challenges that parents have to face. Although doctors and caregivers can provide emotional support and guidance, the management and treatment of children’s health issues also depend on home care techniques and therapies.
These therapies will help keep their children healthy and improve some of the symptoms they might be experiencing. While this article is not meant as a substitute for medical advice, it does provide some great information on alternative therapies you can try with your child at home.
ABA or Applied Behavioral Analysis is a type of behavior therapy that uses positive reinforcement for children to learn new behaviors and reduce the number of bad behaviors they exhibit.
This type of treatment is effective in treating children with health problems like ADHD, autism, intellectual disability, and other developmental disorders. It involves identifying the problematic behavior, understanding its antecedents (the events leading up to it) and consequences (what happens after it).
For parents doing ABA therapy at home, you must provide your child with frequent praise and rewards whenever they engage in good behavior. You should also try to avoid any punishment or negative response after having displayed bad behavior, it is best to just ignore it.
Sensory Integration Therapy
Sensory integration therapy aims to improve your child’s processing of sensory information by providing different types of stimuli like changing the feeling on their skin or moving their limbs.
This therapy can help reduce some symptoms associated with autism-like hypersensitivity to touch, easy distractibility, and stimming behaviors like flapping hands or rocking their body back and forth.
You can carry out this therapy at home by giving deep pressure massages (putting pressure on different parts of your child’s body gently), using swings (swinging your child on a hammock), and making sensory boxes that have items of different textures inside.
Speech therapy helps improve communication skills by teaching kids how to speak properly and pronounce words correctly. In many cases, children with health issues have trouble communicating because they might not understand what they are trying to say, or might not be able to convey what is in their mind.
Kids with speech problems usually have trouble expressing themselves and understanding others. You can conduct this therapy at home by using techniques that help your child communicate better like playing games where they need to identify different objects and taking turns when talking.
Music therapy involves creating music or making songs with your child that he or she likes and then listening to these songs together over and over again. This form of therapy is known to lift the mood of children, induce calmness and relaxation in them, improve their ability to focus, and also reduce some symptoms associated with autism.
Simply playing music your child likes at home can help you achieve the same results as long as you are doing it over and over again until your child gets comfortable with it. Just make sure that the music you play is not too loud and does not interfere with your child’s concentration.
Yoga therapy can help improve relaxation and self-control and reduce some of your child’s stress and anxiety levels by teaching them how to breathe properly, stay calm in tense situations, cope better with their feelings and emotions, and focus their attention on things they are doing.
This form of therapy can be done at home by simply following the steps in simple yoga poses like downward-facing dog, child’s pose, cat stretch, lunging forward bend, etc., with your kid.
You could also make up some fun games together that involve yoga moves to help your little one enjoy the process. This will also help improve motor skills and strengthen muscles, so your child will be able to participate in physical activities better.
Animal therapy is a type of physical therapy that uses pet dogs or other domesticated animals as part of the treatment process. It has been shown to help children with autism learn appropriate social skills, emotional responsiveness, and certain types of behavior like controlling aggression.
If your child experiences some anxiety when they are approached by strangers or pets, you can try gradually introducing them to animals through short sessions where they will sit next to you while you hold the animal. You should ideally look for a trained team who will be handling your child and their interactions with the animal during each session (to ensure their safety). Some experts recommend using only female dogs in these sessions because they are seen to be less intimidating.
As you can see, there are many types of therapies parents can try at home to help their children with health problems. These therapies have been shown to benefit kids with some major health issues in a big way. If you’re looking for ways to improve your child’s behavior or speech, consider giving these therapies a try. You might be surprised by the positive results.
Allen Brown is a keen writer covering topics such as health, travel, beauty and such. He enjoys spending time playing the drums in his past time.