It’s hard to believe we have been taking Noah to some sort of developmental therapy appointment since he was just three weeks old.
In that short 8 months (it’s also hard to believe our little boy will turn 9 months old this month!) we’ve met some great, and some not-so-great therapists. Noah now goes to physical therapy twice a week, and occupational therapy once, thankfully we couldn’t be happier with the therapists involved in his life now!
Just Who Is That Mystery Woman?
If you have been following our son’s story you’ve no doubt become very familiar with the woman in today’s video; Diane, Noah’s physical therapist. She’s great No, like really great!
If you looking for a great physical (or occupational) therapist in the Dallas area, I can’t say enough good things about Our Children’s House at Baylor. They have several locations in the metroplex, accept lots of different insurance, and are great to work with!
If you aren’t in the Dallas area don’t worry, you don’t have to pack up your bags and move to the Lone Star State in order to find a great pediatric therapist. Chances are there’s one in your own backyard, you just have to know what to look for.
3 Reasons We Love Our Son’s Physical Therapist (And What You Should Look For In Yours)
- She is encouraging. From the first day we met Diana she’s been one of Noah’s biggest fans. No matter how well (or not so well) he did during his appointment we end up leaving feeling like Noah is the smartest, strongest, most capable little boy to ever have been born with Down syndrome! You don’t really get a chance to hear our therapists talking in these videos, but if you did you’d think Noah had created the iPhone the way she cheers him on. It’s great!
- She is patient. It’s no secret that children born with Down syndrome meet their developmental milestones differently than typical children. In fact, if you look at the developmental milestone chart you’ll find the range for children born with Down syndrome is very wide. (For instance the chart says that a child born with Down syndrome should sit up on their own sometime between 6 and 30 months!) With this in mind it’s great that Noah’s physical therapist is so patient with him. She never rushes him. She never makes us (or him) feel bad if he isn’t getting something. And she doesn’t mind working on the same thing over, and over, and over again until he gets it (and when he does she cheers as loud as we do!) We love it!
- She is invested. I can’t tell you how many times Noah’s therapist has greeted us with comments like, “I was doing some research last night…”, “I was reading this article that said…”, I came across this research study that talked about…”. It’s great knowing that Diana (Noah’s therapist) doesn’t view our Noah as just a chart, but she is invested in his life. She genuinely cares about our son, and wants to see him become everything that God created Him to be. Now, that’s a great therapist!
How To Find A Therapist You (and Your Child) Will Love
If you live in the United States, and especially if you live in a large city like we do, pediatric therapists are a dime a dozen. There are clinics everywhere. There are private therapists. There are therapists assigned to your child by the state. There are therapists that come to your house. There are therapists that require you to drive to their office. There are therapist offices that have large gyms. There are therapist offices that have small gyms. There are therapists that incorporate small elephants into their training. And therapists that do not. And the list goes on, and on.
So how does a loving parent who wants the best for their child choose a pediatric therapist?
I’m going to let you in on a little secret…they all use the same text books. (Well, maybe not exactly the same, but you get my point.) In order to be a licensed therapist they have to had gone to school, and most schools teach the same material (although they may use different methods to teach it.) Since all pediatric therapists will generally have the same education, what you really want to look for is a therapist that displays the above three qualities.
It will probably take a few visits (or maybe just one!) with a therapist before you know if they have the qualities you and your child are looking for. That’s ok. Don’t be afraid to change therapists if you (or your child) isn’t happy with their current one. I know how frustrating it can be to make changes once you are in a rhythm, but I’ll assure that once you have a therapist that you (and your child) are happy with, you’ll view taking your child to their therapy points as a fun experience, instead of a dreaded one!
What has been your experience with your child’s therapists? What do you like best about your child’s therapists. Does he or she display the sort of characteristics I mentioned in this post?