Your child might be struggling with their current therapy routine. Whether its boredom or exhaustion, sometimes a change in routine can help kids refocus on their goals to make bigger gains in their therapy sessions. We will cover two options to change up your routine.
The first is Hippotherapy, or “therapeutic horseback riding. Riding horses is a great way for kids to get treatment in a different setting. Horseback riding can help kids with all types of disability—from autism to muscular dystrophy.
My son has been riding horses through Courtney Cares for the past year. Courtney Cares is a non-profit organization that uses Texas A&M horses to provide therapy to kids.
In the past year of riding, my son has improved his overall upper body strength and has become a lot more flexible. Additionally, being around the horse seems to provide a calming effect for him and improve his overall attitude. And for some kids, it is just plain fun.
The Courtney Cares program works with the Texas A&M Department of Animal Science and local volunteers to provide services. Each child is supported by one therapist and at least 2 volunteers during their riding time. Kids are normally on the horse for about 45 minutes once a week. You can find more information on therapeutic riding through Courtney Cares website.
Another option is to occasionally take breaks from therapy. Research has shown that kids who attend regular physical therapy sessions often times get “therapy fatigue” and could benefit from a week-long or month-long break. Therapy sessions often become routine and sometimes kids look at them as things they “have to” go to as opposed to things they “want to” go to.
We typically take a break from therapy for the month of December and the month of July. My son often comes back from those breaks ready to work in his therapy sessions and soaks up a lot more from his therapists than he did before.
The key here, whether it’s through different kinds of therapy or taking breaks, is to keep the activity interesting for your kids. The more interest they have in what they are doing, the more likely they are to learn a new skill or new ability.
You can learn about additional therapies on this website at Health Care Specialty and Therapy Options for Children with Disabilities.