Therapy: Too Little, Too Much, Too Expensive, Too Tired!

MY VIEWS | | October 18, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Like how some people have soccer practice or ballet as their curricular activities, parents of special needs kids have therapy. We spend countless hours in waiting rooms, swopping tips, sharing IEP notes and packing dinners to eat in transit. We smile and nod understandingly when a kid has a tantrum, or when a kid acts in a way that would seem crazy to those not in the know. We sit in the same boat and it is one time I truly relax with people who do not judge me, or my kid. I keep worrying about the therapies I should be getting for her. I worry if I am doing harm by not constantly keeping up to date with all the changing laws or newest trends, or that I raised my voice more than I should. The guilt for not not being more patient is sometimes more than I can bear. I pretend not to feel a twinge of jealousy when I hear others talk about soccer, dance, gymnastics, etc – but we already have therapy 3 times a week.

I worry about filling the other days with stuff as she often complains that she does not get to play with her toys.  Truth is I am so exhausted that it feels like a day in the park to just be home after school. Sometimes I worry that it is too much. I mean should I just let her go to those activities and be a kid? Only thing is the glaring gaps in social skills and more tell me that therapy is very much needed. So I trod on, trying to make the mood right, so that the session is great. Which means if there was a million things racing through my head before, it has doubled as I try to divert anything that looks like it is on the path to a meltdown. Kids with Autism are brilliant, no seriously they are, so you have to be 10 steps ahead at all times to not be caught unaware. This also means I am brain dead when I get into my car and though it is the same route I travel on as I head to therapy, I use a GPS (in silent mode Рsilence is a beautiful thing these days). Hubby laughed when I told him I do this, but I really need to not think, this lets me pick up my energy to continue the day.

If too little or too much were not enough, then too expensive comes in. Well sometimes. We made a promise to never say no to a therapy that we thought may help based on cost. Not that we are rolling in dough, but because I don’t see a single material thing I own more important than my child’s therapy. Of course that has meant even forking out close to $700 per week for summer camp (ouch). So while other kids were on vacations we spent 8 weeks in a special needs camp. Of course any shred of doubt I may have had was dispelled the moment her therapist who she had not seen all summer, commented on the dramatic change. We pretend to never look at the cost and if we do, we never ever complain.

And at the end of the day I am just too tired. Tired of walking on eggshells, tired of always rushing her somewhere and tired to see my baby so tired of it all as she asks will she go to therapy forever. I dodge the question, since I would love the answer to that myself!



  1. 1
    Megan says:

    Giving you hugs. You are an amazing person :)

  2. 2
    Kate Hayes says:

    Wow. I can’t even imagine. You always put things into perspective for me. I am going to stop complaining about Girl Scouts now.

  3. 3
    Dawn Ratté says:

    So well said, Niri. Remember that you are only human and while you are prioritizing your daughter’s needs, you also have to be kind to yourself. Sounds like a spa day is in order.

  4. 4
    Elizabeth Sperandio says:

    phew…i thought i was the only one who was feeling a little over whelmed by therapies. In our area, “parent and family support” has come to mean “more therapy for your child”. Families and what the family has to offer has been lost. Part of the remorse we feel when we see other kids going to “soccer” is that we are not sharing OURS and our other family members interests with our special needs children. Rather, the idea is that the entire families interests should become about the special needs support community at large.
    I think it is time to stop the madness….at least in my section of the country. While it is appropriate and important to learn how to best help our special needs family members, it is also important to keep in mind the interests and needs of the entire family.
    I feel your pain.
    Now….go play some soccer.

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