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Ten Reasons a Comfortable Natural Environment Leads to Progress!

Leaps and Bounds Therapy provides pediatric therapy services in the child’s natural environment. This includes, home, school, daycare. Whatever environment is part of their usual routine. This is a place that children feel most comfortable and calm. Clinic based therapy can be great. But therapy services in the natural environment can be beneficial as well. Here’s why:

  • 1. In a natural setting, children are their most calm. Especially the younger ones who may be affected by a new setting.
  • 2. If we are working on something that is already hard for a child, being in the home setting can make it feel a bit more familiar and natural. Perhaps therapy services can use the toys that the child already plays with, or the child can retreat to his/her mom intermittently.
  • 3. Less interruptions in the child’s natural schedule; they do not have to miss a nap or a meal, and the transition to therapy in the home or daycare setting can be quick. Sometimes transitions can be tough, and this lessens the time and stress.
  • 4. Home program are easy to follow. Because the therapist is in your home and using your materials, they can show caregivers exactly how, where and when to do the specific strategy.
  • 5. If certain routines in the day are difficult for your child: bathing, eating, sleeping, etc. These can be practiced with the provider in your home at the time that the child is doing the task.
  • 6. The family/caregivers are part of the team. Therapy in the home can very easily include caregivers to be a part of the session.
  • 7. Siblings/daycare peers are part of the natural environment and therefore can be a part of the session. Sometimes, siblings/peers make it hard for the home program to be carried out; so, the provider can be creative in how the parents/caregivers perform the home program and how it can work around the other people or include the other people that are present
  • 8. Therapy can be done at a park, in the backyard, library, rec center, etc. All these locations are part of the natural environment, and it can be beneficial to the family to have strategies and ideas in these settings.
  • 9. The provider can make suggestions about the environment to better support the child. For example, if the child favors his right side and is not looking left, and the provider sees that the crib is right next to a window on the right that the child looks at, the provider may suggest turning the child 180 degrees in the crib when they put him/her down for naps so they have to look left and then the other direction at night to change it up. OR If the child has trouble focusing and attending and there are toys all over the playroom, the provider may suggest putting some toys in bins or putting some toys away in a closet for the time being while attending to a specific task.
  • 10. When it comes specifically to Illinois early intervention services; therapy services must occur in a natural environment.

These are several reasons why receiving therapy services in the natural environment can be beneficial; however, there are many more. This also comes down to an individual preference. Services in the home/daycare can definitely provide individualized care, flexibility in care and the ability to meet your child where they are at.

If interested in a consultation or an evaluation for physical therapy, occupational therapy or speech therapy services for your baby or child, please feel free to contact us.