For parents, diagnoses and therapists are more confusing now than ever before. One size
definitely does not fit all in the case of children, even for those children with the same
diagnosis. A child diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum is still an individual with individual
personality traits and the features of Autism do not necessarily present themselves in the
same way with each child.
So much of our parenting and teaching is a series of trying new and different things to
engage each individual child in the best way that speaks to them. There is no special pill, no
magic wand or potion that works for every child. The best we can do is rely on experts
with experience in dealing with children with specific needs. I recently read an article in
which children with any specific needs were called extraordinary children, and I loved that.
These children needing our love and support, are truly extraordinary, and so are their
parents who need the support as much, if not more than their children do.
Similarly, therapists today are specialised, no longer is a paediatric OT a one size fits all
therapist. I have come to learn this through my practice of teaching and referring children to
the best therapist to work with individual children. It is only through learning more about
the therapy itself that I have come to understand the extent to which these professionals
are focused on. I previously never knew that there were Occupational Therapists who only
worked in physical health, or mental health, and paediatric OTs who worked in sensory
integration, while there are those that specialise in NDT (neurodevelopmental treatment).
It’s not an automatic fit, and some of the best therapists do not necessarily connect with
some children, it’s a relationship. The same can be said for all professions of therapists.
These experts have become specialised in their own niche fields.
At Empower, we encourage our professionals to add tags to their areas of special focus to
help parents find the best match for their child’s needs.