Our Philosophy of Therapy

Micah Pederson by Micah Pederson Additional Needs

Micah Pederson

Micah Pederson

I am a mom to two children biologically and many children through foster care. My husband and I have been married three years. Our foster home is a...

For caregivers of children who have special needs, it can be easy to feel that life is consumed by pressing appointments and services.

As a (foster) mom to multiple children with special needs, I certainly feel this way at times.

My days are often packed with trips to hospitals, specialists, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, wheelchair clinics, medically complex clinics, bracing clinics, play therapy…the list could go on and on.

As a parent, I want my children to succeed.

I want to know that I do everything I can to support their strengths and strengthen their weaknesses.

If there is anything that could possibly help my children communicate better, function better, or participate better, I want to commit, dig in deep, and give it our all.

However, one of the most important things I have learned as a mom to these special little ones is that we cannot do it all nor is it healthy too.

A few years ago, I remember feeling overwhelmed by the constant wonder of if we should be doing more.

It felt as if for every therapy/treatment/service we began, we would discover a handful more that perhaps we should be doing as well.

Slowly, it felt like life was going to be taken over by every new potential tool that was being offered to us.

I began to realize that if our life became a flurry of non-stop appointments or people coming into our home, we would miss out on a lot of the stillness and spontaneity where so much of life’s beauty, growth, and learning happens.

Over time, I became very selective about what therapies we added.

I researched, talked with professionals and providers, and tuned into my children and what they were needing in order to make the best decision.

I began to notice that some of our greatest “therapy moments” took place in our home, in the midst of our family being together as just us.

I began to no longer see the hours spent at home as less important or as a time that could have been packed with more interventions and therapies.

Rather, I saw my children blooming, engaging in play that was laced with opportunities to learn and practice skills.

We still had a great deal of appointments on our plate, but I made the decision to move all our appointments to only two days a week as often as possible.

Those twos days a week are absolutely crazy, but I know that the other days of the week, we will be able to be home and in our own routine.

During therapy sessions, I take notes, pictures, and ask all the questions I need in order to be equipped to implement therapy strategies in our home.

In a way, I have become every kind of therapist that my children see packed into one person.

Sometimes, I direct our play and activities at home to meet therapy goals.

But other times, I rest in the fact that the relationships, memories, and emotional safety that my children gain from less-structured times at home are invaluable.

As a caregiver, do not ever feel guilty about turning down as many therapies and supports as you need to in order to protect the child’s free time as well as your own sanity.

Remember that time away from structured interventions is just as vital (perhaps even more so) for growth and development.

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