Why Isn't My Child Making Progress? The Importance of Home Carryover and Practice
Many of our clients have exceptional attendance to occupational and speech therapy. Therapists will see clients for either one or two sessions per week, depending on their needs. Since occupational and speech therapy are a client-centered profession, each session is individually created to promote the client’s immediate needs and then their short-term and long-term measurable goals. Speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists work hard to identify barriers to success in all aspects of the child’s life, then devise a program to improve independence across all skill levels and environments.
But we are often asked, "Why isn’t my child making progress?"
After each session, your therapist will discuss their clinical observations and your child’s performance throughout the session. This conversation is incredibly important because the therapist will also give you tips and techniques for teaching these skills at home to improve these skills. These techniques are critical for you to practice at home (carryover) so your child can progress to reach their individual goals.
Bear in mind, your therapist will only see your child for 30 – 60 minutes one-two times per week, which leaves 5 days and 22 hours before you see the therapist again! One or two sessions of therapy per week, unless it includes carryover when the child leaves therapy, is not enough to see significant progress. Data shows that 90% of solidified learning happens at home when you and your child can practice these specific exercises in their natural environment where the child is most comfortable.
We tend to see more progress toward long-term & short-term goals with families that follow through with suggested therapy techniques than with those who choose not to implement our suggestions.
We know that some families may have additional time constraints, other children, jobs, household chores, extracurricular activities, etc., so we try to give you ideas for carryover that are attainable to fit into your day without adding stress to your life! We want to work with you and your family to help your child succeed – not just in therapy but out in their everyday environment. Your participation in carryover is vital for us to accomplish that goal!
If you have any questions, talk to your therapist about games or activities you can do at home with your child to improve carryover and, ultimately, your child's independence!