Many types of disability services are available for children with learning impediments, developmental delays, and other special challenges. Some programs will be available at schools, but those initiatives will emphasize social interaction and learning. Some youngsters need help with more fundamental skills. Fortunately, a variety of innovative and creative therapeutic methods have been developed over the past few decades.
Music forges a connection that transcends language, making it particularly useful for those in need of disability services for children. Those who struggle with language development may be encouraged to sing. Others may produce spontaneous vocalizations in moments of enthusiasm. This unique use of music can employ virtually any instrument which engages the child’s attention. Drums, keyboards, and guitars are popular, and singing is an effective way to transition into skill acquisition. Kids who are typically withdrawn often interact with musical instruments, giving them an opportunity for expression and eventually an avenue to interact with others.
Children who have severe limitations are often discouraged by the challenges they face. Friendly animals, like outgoing dogs and cats, can offer unconditional approval and support. Pet therapy often involves specially trained handlers and animals, especially when the recipients are severely handicapped. More exotic animals can sometimes be used to elicit a response and hold the person’s attention. Many Americans see pet ownership as a rite of passage in childhood, and using animals as therapy can help children feel included in this part of childhood.
Horseback Riding Therapy
The term for this type of treatment is often amusing at first. The term “hippotherapy” comes from the Greek word “hippos,” which means horse. Horseback riding involves a degree of muscular control and balance, and many people are naturally excited for the opportunity to interact with the giant, gorgeous animals. Just like a healthy teenager might be excited to ride a horse, many kids with developmental challenges also get enthusiastic and enjoy themselves. A person on horseback must learn basic communication skills to get the horse to move forward and turn. Getting the large animal to follow directions can also instill confidence and a sense of accomplishment in young riders. It can also foster a sense of community among other horseback riders.
Art therapy provides students with a broad range of methods through which to express themselves. This type of activity can help to lessen anxiety in children with disabilities, who may experience discomfort around their peers. Art projects can be tailored to every set of ability with a wide array of available expressive mediums. Disability services like art therapy help to make self-expression possible for everyone.
There’s no single treatment or approach that will be perfect for every person. Fortunately, any of these ideas can be tested for effectiveness without a long term commitment. Try to see which approach holds the most promise, and don’t expect immediate results. Pay attention to whether your son or daughter responds positively to trips to the zoo, music on the radio, or art projects in school. Any of these reactions could indicate an underlying interest and a potential for connection in the future.