Therapy and Social Distancing

Sarah Kirkpatrick by Sarah Kirkpatrick Additional Needs

Sarah Kirkpatrick

Sarah Kirkpatrick

My name is Sarah Kirkpatrick. I am a hair stylist from Alabama. I have one amazing daughter who has quad cerebral, dystonia, and HIE. I love all th...

Therapy is something that has become an integral part of our lives since our daughter’s birth.

We see a physical, speech, and occupational therapist weekly. So it has been so unbelievably odd not having easy access to our therapy team throughout this time of social distancing.

Self-motivating is something I absolutely struggle with.

Keeping up with our normal routine has been a challenge when we are not on the strict schedule we have become so accustomed to. It is easy to get in the habit of just existing for a moment, but the fear of regression is ever present.

I cannot speak for every special needs parent, but getting our daughter to participate in therapy is always an uphill battle. I feel like she is capable of so much, but is so incredibly stubborn. To be fair she gets it honest. It’s so easy to push it to the back burner when it can be so frustrating. Having scheduled therapy sessions are not only informative, but for us it’s incredibly important in keeping us accountable.

I’ve done everything I can to maintain her routine, but it’s hard when our previous routine is no longer existent. Prior to this, she kept a pretty full schedule. I felt like a toddler secretary; constantly trying to juggle between physicians, therapist, and equipment providers. A good portion of my week was spent scheduling appointments. Now that our calendar is completely empty,  it’s hard to maintain discipline in the therapy department.

Emotions are running high right now so it’s easy to struggle with guilt throughout this. I feel like overall I have kept up with things, but on those days when I just don’t feel up to it I am left with an incredible amount of guilt. It’s not realistic, but in the mind of someone who struggles with anxiety, it feels like anything you do (or don’t do) could have a drastic effect on your child’s future or well-being. I understand how misguided that is, but sometimes it’s hard not to feel that way.

I cannot wait to get back to some semblance of what we had just a few months ago.

In the meantime we are taking advantage of all the teletherapies that are available to us to maintain all of the progress we have made. I’m trying to keep things in perspective. Hopefully things will return back to our “normal” soon, and we can resume our doctor and therapy visits. I’m trying to allow myself this opportunity to relax, and take this moment to breath.


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