Paediatric therapy is a strange phenomenon that I have never seen a good definition of
Editorial: First of all, I am thinking about babies and pre-school children who have sensory and/or physical impairments that have a negative impact on their development and learning. Some of these children will have a multifaceted condition including intellectual challenges.
So, why are regular visits to hospital for therapy so problematic?
1 These visits can disrupt quality time at home necessary for attachment. They also keep the child away from community settings for play, social activity and early learning. They work against inclusive education.
2 They build an illness/patient mind-set in the family, the child and the local community. Children going regularly to hospital for therapy are separated physically and psychologically from the local population of ‘learning children’.
3 Therapists’ work on communication, movement, dexterity, self-care skills, looking, listening, etc. is not unique to them. It is shared by parents and early educationalists and would best be offered in the child’s home and / or in community settings in partnership with those other people.
4 Hospitals are not nice places. They are full of illness, dying and death with a rich mix of crises, emergency and tragedy. Children and their family members should not be here unless the child is ill. Impairment is not illness.
Paediatric therapy is a strange phenomenon that I have never seen a good definition of. I see it as mix of education (helping the child acquire new understanding and skills) and health treatment (for joints, chests, hearts, throats, etc). Of course a child needing health treatment will, ideally, have good access to a hospital. And acknowledging that in some regions and countries there are few services available to children with impairments outside of hospitals.
We need all the great skills that paediatric therapists have in communication, movement, dexterity, self-care skills, looking, listening, etc. If we can fully acknowledge their important educational role, we can make better child-centred plans for where they work and how they work in partnership with the other people helping each child learn.
For a longer argument see - https://www.tacinterconnections.com/index.php/allnews/publications/3679-new-book-for-2022-early-child-and-family-support-principles-and-prospects-for-parents-and-practitioners-impatient-for-change
Your comments welcome.