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The benefits:

      Therapy happens in the context where it is needed. This helps with memory and retaining new skills learnt. It can be hard for parents/kids to take what they have learnt from a clinic situation then remember exactly what to do when at home. Seeing it in the home removes this one step.

      The environment is taken into consideration; clinic spaces are often simpler rooms then homes with much less distraction – but the distraction is often why the child is finding it hard in the first place! So real strategies that work for the home are able to be given.

      Everyone can be involved; at home it is easier to involve the siblings, parents, grandparents, even the pets! Harnessing all the support in the child’s home can be very useful, or at least paint a real picture of what is impacting the child’s skills

      The strategies that are given by therapists are often much more realistic and applicable to the family. This is because we can adapt what the family have in terms of toys/resources, but also we get to know what is actually achievable. We say it is always better to have one really good strategy that works then ten that won’t.

      Parents have everything they need on hand to show their child’s skill level. For example, during a conversation with a therapist they can bring out a report from the teacher they just thought of, or an example of homework. Or they can show the types of clothes their child will only wear or the set up for dinner time when they are the pickiest. It can be difficult to bring all of these very valuable examples to a clinic in advance of an appointment.

 

The cons:

      Parents can be concerned about how ‘presentable’ their house is. We understand that this can be a worry for families, though totally not necessary. Our therapists have worked in so many homes, schools, prisons – you name it. It’s about being real and we are there for the support and often don’t even notice any mess!

      Parents can get distracted with siblings and just the general busyness of a house; if the focus of the session is for the parents to learn than this can be difficult for their attention to be completely on what the therapist is saying. Though if the focus of the session is putting strategies in place and a program to build skill development, then it is necessary to factor in what a parent normally has to cope with on the day to day.

      If a parent needs the space to ‘off load’ and share what is happening for them and their family it may be difficult to create this space at home. Many families are going through a rough time with the demands of life, not just their children’s difficulties. So sometimes have a session in a clinic can give the space to have an honest conversation about what is happening, shed some tears and be heard. 

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