Hello! This blog is about my daughter Hailey (currently 12 years old) and her experiences living with auditory processing disorder. Auditory Processing Disorder is Hailey's primary issue, however she has also been given the labels Sensory Processing Disorder, Dyslexia, Visual Processing Disorder, Mixed Expressive Receptive Language Disorder and Phonology Disorder at various points in her life.

Monday, November 14, 2011

What Can Psychologists Do Better When Working With Children With Special Needs?

I solicited some people on a couple of my Facebook communities for people or parents of children with Auditory Processing Disorder.  My purpose was to get input for my sister-in-law who supervises students practicing to be licensed therapists. 

Here is my original question and the wonderful, thoughtful responses I received.  I also left the number of Facebook likes to show how many people pushed “like” to show their agreement with the response.

“Please give me your thoughts: My sister-in-law is a supervisor of students practicing to be licensed therapists. She wants to know what things can therapists (as in psychologists) do better to help children with special needs?”

“I think the most helpful thing any therapist can do - is to do their best to remove their biases - and remember although labeling may help get services - labels hurt kids/all people - correct diagnosis is so much more important.”
Facebook Likes : 2

“It is important to look beyond the label and the list of recommended treatments and find out what the individual child needs. The label should only be a starting point as to what to look for. The therapist needs to dig and explore and figure out what is needed to treat and recover.”
Facebook Likes:  2

“Educate themselves. Yes, they're practicing and learning to be therapists, but that doesn't cover everything they're going to encounter out in the real world. If they weren't taught about a certain topic or forgot it, they still need to be responsible for that knowledge.”
Facebook Likes:  1

“Growing up with special needs I wish people would research the special need(s) more and try to better understand what it is like to have special needs.  My recommendation is to talk to someone who has the specific special need, if possible, to get a feel of what it's like in their shoes. Empathy is the best thing someone's ever given me.”
Facebook Likes:  3

“I would suggest they remember that behavior is communication. Everything a child does has a purpose. We have to figure out what they are trying to tell us, then teach them how to tell us more efficiently.”
Facebook Likes:  3

Nancy :
“Listen to parents and don’t disregard their feelings or thoughts or treat them like they know nothing, and don’t say negative things in front of the kids. Also follow up - maybe after a child has left care, a month later ring and ask how things are going.”
Facebook Likes:  5

“Trust a parent's instincts.”
Facebook Likes:  6

“Get hands on experience working with special needs children prior to becoming a qualified psychologist.  Also it would help to work with adults with special needs in order to get the bigger picture of our kids as adults!”
Facebook Likes:  5

“Be prepared to commit to long-term therapy, as many of our kids can’t handle changes in staff.”
Facebook Likes:  4

If you have any other thoughts you would like to include, please post them in the comments.  Thank you.

1 comment:

  1. Doing the best she can objectively, but has a passion of what she or he does to help for the development of the children with special needs. And of course having a never ending study knowledge and experience.