What a question and how do I even start answering this? Firstly, start slow, add systematically and always check in with your child as you go along.
Each child is different and each therapy serves a different goal. This is a good starting point as we should focus on introducing therapies for the “right reasons”. If your child is struggling with specific speech targets, speech therapy might be a good idea. If your child is struggling with communication, meaning that they struggle to understand when they need to speak, this might not be a speech therapy goal. You might want to work on your child’s ability to understand the reason behind needing to communicate then.
Some speech therapists who are trained in executive functioning skills will be able to guide you to include the right type of goals, but rote learning or drilling targets might only frustrate your child.
Alternatively, if your child is struggling with social interaction, the need to engage in social settings, or even the sensory input that comes with this, you might need to consider a different route. You might want to focus on profiling your child’s sensory needs and sensitivities and then finding coping strategies (such as wearing noise-canceling headphones for example) during outings. The other important factor here is also to practice the outings. We advocate for parents to expose their children, safely and comfortably to various environments.
The age-old saying “practice makes perfect” rings true here, but please remember to keep your child’s sensory sensitivities in mind. You want to show him or her that they can trust your judgment and that you are respecting their specific sensory needs.
So, in short – what therapy is the best? This completely depends on your child’s unique profile and specific needs.
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