'Dragging child and family to hospital for regular visits might be the cheaper and most convenient option for hospital administrators but not for child and parents'
Peter Limbrick writes:
Working with babies and young children who have multifaceted conditions, I have been most effective as a teacher when working in close partnership with paediatric therapists. So why do I want to cut therapy in half? Please see how far you agree with my reasoning.
In my experience pediatric therapists have a health function and an educational function, sometimes with the same baby or infant. In the health function, they treat hearts, lungs, throats, muscles, joints, etc. Essential work. In the education function they help babies and infants develop new skills in balance, posture, movement, communication, dexterity, etc. Perhaps they do this by working through the parent.
In this analysis, there is nothing left in their function that needs to be called ‘therapy’. In early child and family support we could reserve this meaningless word for approaches without a good evidence base.
Why would cutting therapy in half promote inclusion?
If a paediatric therapist is helping a child’s education (the acquisition of new understanding and skills), why does it need to happen in hospital, clinic or health centre? Surely it would be better in the child’s home, nursery or first school (- where there are parents and staff members also working on balance, posture, movement, communication, dexterity, etc)? Pediatric therapy expertise would have very great value here contributing to collective competence.
When these regular stressful and expensive visits to hospital are kept to an absolute minimum, the child will have more quality time at home and/or in local education settings where she or he really belongs – inclusion.
Children and parents who have unnecessary visits to hospital soon absorb the ideas of ‘problem’, ‘disability’, ‘illness’, ‘special’, etc. At worst, the child is then treated as a ‘patient’ at home. Repeated visits to hospital can have a negative impact on the child’s self-esteem, attachment, mental state, daily routines, local friendships, respect by peers – and inclusion.
Dragging child and family to hospital for regular visits might be the cheaper and most convenient option for hospital administrators but not for child and parents. It is an out-dated institutional attitude. Time for change?
Also see: https://www.tacinterconnections.com/index.php/allnews/developmentsintreatment/3419-positive-environments-for-early-child-and-family-support-part-5-early-child-and-family-support-is-often-wrongly-treated-as-a-health-issue