What Will Happen During My Child’s Pediatric Therapy Visit?

Concerned Mother With BoySetting Straight Therapy Myths

If you, your pediatrician, your child’s teacher or someone else important in your child’s life just told you that your child would benefit from physical, occupational, or speech and language therapy services you are probably feeling a little overwhelmed and uncertain about what to expect.

Some questions you may have about your child’s therapy

  • Will they put my child on a couch and talk to him/her?
  • Will they attach electrodes to the affected area?
  • Will they run my child through a rigorous exercise routine?

The answer to all of these questions is NO.

Unlike adolescents and adults, most children can’t understand why therapy services are beneficial, and therefore can’t be motivated by the potential end result of therapy alone. However, pediatric therapists are very skilled in understanding what is motivating for all children …play!

Your child’s therapist will set attainable goals for your child that will be accomplished through activities that are play-based. For example if you child has delayed motor skills your child’s therapist may use equipment such as swings, a trampoline, a ball pit, and other pieces of equipment or toys to improve motor skills.

Therapists Work To Build Strong Relationships With Children

The relationship between the child and their therapist is also very important, as your child will likely be spending time with this therapist at least weekly. Children, like adults, are more trusting and compliant with someone they like versus someone they don’t like. Therefore, from the minute your child’s therapist meets your child, they will work on building a positive trusting relationship. As some children are more hesitant by nature, this trust sometimes takes a few weeks to be established.

Children typically really enjoy coming to therapy.  In fact,  it is often difficult to pry them and their siblings off the equipment, although this problem is one that most therapists are glad to have!

3 replies
  1. Dori Mages, MSW, LCSW
    Dori Mages, MSW, LCSW says:

    As a social worker for many years, I know that sometimes kids, especially older kids, can be resistant at first to coming to therapy. However, gaining some insight and strategies to help them can be very empowering for kids and they soon look forward to coming each week. They can’t wait to tell me about their week and how the strategies they practiced have helped them! So, don’t worry if your child comes home from therapy and the answer to “what did you do today?” is “Played!” Playing is so much more than simply playing– it’s learning through play!

  2. David Michael
    David Michael says:

    I remember when my middle son would start to ask me when was the next time he could visit with Fred (his social worker) because he loved talking with him. I remember it mainly because of the jealousy I felt toward his social worker–the fact that my son was enjoying his sessions so much. That’s when you know you have a great therapist.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *