Are there downsides to therapy #ABA
I studied child development for a while and for a school essay I was asked to respond to an article arguing that modernized therapy could be considered abusive and one of my afterthoughts was, “If a child can’t participate in after school activities and go to their classmate’s birthday parties because of their therapy schedule, then they are missing out on critical socialization.”
To put it into perspective, if the school schedules rehearsals for their upcoming play on Tuesday afternoons and you have an hour-long therapy session on each Tuesday afternoon, taking into account transportation time, you would arrive at rehearsal at the same time everyone was packing up. (This would be in the context of school ending at 3:00 pm, arriving at the therapist’s office at 3:30 pm, finishing therapy at 4:30 pm, and then at 5:00 pm you would return to school at the same time the rehearsal was wrapping up.)
I’m fully aware that parents can’t change the availability of the therapist and that some parents can only do therapy during the times when the local Boy/Girl Scouts meet (or on the weekends during the hours when soccer/football games take place), but if the therapy that’s supposed to help the children improve their weaknesses prevents them from actively exercising their underdeveloped muscles and/or socializing with their peers, could it be actually be causing an unintended deficit?
The disabled people I’ve met said there’s a huge difference between sending a developmentally disabled person to therapy as a means to teach the person to not stalk their crush and sending a developmentally disabled person to therapy just because the parents want their child to not act quirky.
I think that most types of therapy should be integrated into everyday activities instead of putting children in a room that is isolated from their able-bodied peers: as activities like group sports (like I mentioned above) force you to stretch, use a wide variety of muscles, and communicate with your peers all at the same time.
Even though most therapists have no ill intent, you need to look around and find one that your child both connects with and also understands that having a work/life balance means not having therapy during times when the child’s unproblematic peers are hanging out and, in addition, lets the child have some say in what their goals should include.