Wednesday, April 11, 2012

April is Counseling Awareness Month!

April is Counseling Awareness Month!  Please acknowledge the Licensed Professional Counselors in your work and personal lives this month!
MedCare has always believed in the importance of treating children from a “wholistic” approach, which is why we provide counseling and play therapy in addition to our many other services. We are very proud that our variety of pediatric specialists sets our organization apart from other rehab facilities.
There are many instances in which a child receiving PT, OT, or ST may benefit from Counseling. These are just a few of the instances in which a counselor/play therapist collaborates with pediatric rehab therapists. 
·        Children involved in other types of therapy often have to work harder at social interactions. Sometimes, their opportunities to play with other children or engage with their peers are limited, either because of a disability, or because other kids are unsure how to relate to them.
·        Children with special needs may have poor self-esteem. They are often made fun of or not accepted by their peers because of their disability. Or, they may see others able to perform certain activities easily that are difficult or not possible for this child to do.
·         Children with speech or developmental delays often struggle with emotions they are not prepared to handle, such as anxiety, frustration, and depression. For example, many children with speech delays have difficulty communicating their wants, needs, and feelings to others. This prevents a challenge when they do not know an outlet for their feelings. Imagine constantly not being understood by others and how frustrating that would get each day!
·        Often times, the child getting PT, OT, or ST also have cognitive and social delays, as in the case with children on the Autism spectrum. Difficulty identifying how others feel, appropriate social cues, or physical space is one of the prominent symptoms of their disorder.
·        Children brought in for behavior problems are often identified as having unidentified sensory issues as well. Without a counselor who is trained to identify potential sensory issues, these issues often go untreated.
If you are a PT, OT, ST, or CO, let us know how you feel this union of therapies has benefited your work with patients. Has it changed your approach to practice? How have you seen it benefit your patients?