WHAT YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS EPISODE:
- How to determine what therapies/activites your child needs right now.
- Non-traditional things to do at home to yield therapy-like results.
- How to confidently say “no” to doctors, therapists, and teachers.
WATCH THE FULL EPISODE HERE:
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FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:
Hey, what’s up. So you might not like me after this, you might say, “she’s crazy.” And that’s totally fine. But this has to be said, especially in the special needs community and it needs to be acknowledged. So I had a client that had her son in Kuman, BrainSpring, Soccer, and music lessons. Oh one more she had him in speech therapy as well. Like I’ve said before, all the therapists and ish tell you that your child should be doing all these things and how helpful they will be.
So my client was doing all these things at the same time and felt they would be helpful to her son’s growth. She couldn’t figure out why she was tired and exhausted all the time. She couldn’t figure out why he still really wasn’t doing better. Like there were no major gains with him with education or with any of the behavior, things that she was saying he needed help with.
She couldn’t figure out why this was not working. And I told her, because you’re doing too much stuff. She shared with me that in school he was confident about the work he did. I shared with her that he could be struggling with confence because he doesn’t feel like he’s enough.
Here’s another story, my son with ADHD was not feeling all the therapies and lessons we had him in.
I have been through the special needs thing before, but trust me, when you get another kid with another diagnosis, you kind of revert back to that parent, that’s like, “Oh my God, what do I need to do next”?
We had our son in speech, in school and out of school, tutoring, Lego League, soccer, reading club, a math pullout, and afterschool skills building. And he was like, “I don’t like this, it always feels like I’m not doing something right. “
So this year we took away everything except for the tutor and fencing. The gains that we have seen have been huge. Even with my other two kids that are on the autism spectrum we did something similar by choosing the top two therapies. When I took the two top therapies, that’s when we began to see more life in gains out of them.
You’re killing your kid’s self-esteem by putting them in multiple different modalities of therapy. Because a book told you that this was a good thing for, because of therapists that say, “Oh yeah, I can see them three times a week and that will be good, that will help him out.”
And they’re going to tell you this stuff, because they’re getting paid to, and it’s not to say that they don’t care about your child, but let’s be honest. Your child is a body on their role.
Whether it’s an afterschool program geared toward kids that are having different issues or whether it’s a therapist that you’re paying cold, hard cash for, you have to have three things. And one is clarity. What is it that your child actually needs? Sometimes as parents of special needs, kids of superheroes, we don’t trust in our own abilities to say, okay, “he really doesn’t need this right now, what he really needs is just to work on reading or just to work on behavior, that’s it.”
And then we’ll filter in things as those things begin to build. But what happens is that we get in this place where we’re afraid that they’re going to fall behind and that people are going to start judging us when actually it’s us judging ourselves. And so we put them in every type of therapy that we can get our hands on and that either our insurance covers or that we have the money to pay for.
And then we end up stressed out. The kid ends up stressed out, imagine what that would feel, if you would go to work and they’ll go, well, we would love to let you work on that report, but you need some more training or we would need you to do this, but you need some more training.
And it’s like, well, you hired me because you said I was capable. Why do I keep needing training? Like what the heck is going on? Like put yourself in their shoes, especially for kids that can speak up and advocate for themselves, how that feels when you are putting them into multiple therapies, I’ve even spoken to adults. And what made me switch is that I was speaking to an adult who was saying that, her mom and dad put her in all these different therapies that they were constantly in tutoring.
They were constantly in these therapies and how it just really ruined how they felt about what their abilities and what they could do when they were always second guessing themselves. And I’m like, Oh my God, that totally makes sense.
But as a parent, you’re like, I need to give them everything. I need to give them all the stuff, all the things so that they can grow, thrive change. When in actuality, we’re using the fire hydrant method versus the drippy faucet method. And you have to remember this when working with your kids, no matter what their ability is that they will get more through watching, even on the spectrum, they’ll get more through watching.
They’ll get more from the one or two things that you see as working. Then when you try to give them all the things at once. And then you switch and ebb and flow.
You need to feel confident with your school to go, Hey, he’s not getting this. You have the power as a part of your IEP team to say, look, I get, you want to pull them out for all this, but it’s really not doing any good.
Cause my son always felt like, why do I have to keep getting pulled out? Like, what is it I keep missing my class time. I keep missing assignments. And so that made him not feel as connected in school. So then he just was like, it.
I’m not really trying. Whereas this year, because he’s not getting pulled out as much his reading has soared.
We just have him working with the tutor and fencing. His reading has sort ofthings that we were like, Oh my God, this is going to be such a struggle, have taken flight and soard.
And I’m not saying for you to do the same thing, but what I want you to begin to do, if you have your children in multiple therapies I want, invite you to step back. Ask yourself what is it at this Holy instant that my child actually for really, truly needs?
Get clear on that, then evaluate what you can move, pull what maybe you might need to stop doing it all and then remove and adjust. Make those adjustments. I had a therapist tell us once when we were doing bio neural feedback, which no insurance company covers and two at that time you couldn’t pay with your HSA. So it was strictly cash.
And at the time we were going to neurologist, developmental pediatrician, occupational, speech, they were in school, we had ABA therapist coming to the house. Like we had all these things going on. And so I told the girl, I said, you know what?
This is a lot for me to drive to Ann Arbor every day with two kids at the time, it was the older two kids. I’m going to have to pull out of this. Like I’m exhausted. She proceeds to tell me, well, you’re going to basically stunt his growth and all of the work that we’ve done in this. And I have parents that drive from Ohio four times a week to come and do this.
And at that moment, I’m like, well, F you like, how dare you tell me this as a parent, like, okay, you’re going to make your kid worse. And you’re not dedicated enough.
Like, this is what I heard as a parent. You’re gonna make your child worse. And because you’re not dedicated enough, I have parents that drive two hours to get to me. As much as your therapist loves you and as friendly as you all are, I want you to think, have any of them, if you’re doing more than three things that any of them said, Hey, how is this working for your schedule? Are you, mom feeling stressed out? Are you feeling stressed out by coming to all these sessions?
They don’t necessarily. And I get, because the kid is their priority and working with the child is their priority, but nobody really askes us as moms, as we’re driving back and forth, how this is working out for us.
So you have to look at also not only how this is working out for your child, how this is working out for you and not feeling guilty about taking them out of something, because it’s stressing you smooth the F out, you have to, and having clarity about what it is that you see your child needs.
What do they actually need? If they actually need this, then do I need to do these four different therapies? If one thing, give us pieces of all these other things can we let some things go? That’s the other thing is that I found out that fencing actually gives him pieces of all the other therapies. So it’s like, so why keep doing everything else?
Me cooking with him gives me pieces of the therapy. You’ll begin to find things that you can incorporate into your life versus needing to pull out and go someplace else.
So that’s the things that I work with. And I saw I was able to help that mom narrow those things down and create a plan of what exactly do you want for your son to do? What exactly are you and your husband, where some of the goals that you have, and he’s old enough, what are some goals that he has for himself and begin to pull those pieces out?
Now, she’s only doing two things and she throws in a third when she sees he needs, extra support, but they’re doing two things and they’ve seen gains. And for you, it may not be two for you. It might be three things that you guys absolutely have to do, but I implore you not to try to add on more than three different types of therapy for your kid.
Like not only is it exhausting you, but it gives them whether they’re verbal or not. It gives them the thing of I’m not doing something right. I have to keep showing up at these places. You know, I don’t know why. I just want to spend time with my mom. I just wanna spend time with my dad. I just want to be with the family. I don’t want to keep feeling like an extra piece of work.
And that’s what kids tend to feel like when you have them, all this stuff. And I trust me, nobody else on earth, more than me can empathize and feel when you’re like, if I don’t have that feeling to go with, I don’t do all this stuff. Then I’m ruining their lives. You are not ruining their lives. Remember you got an IEP for a reason, individualized education plan. That means your child has the privilege of being on their own track.
That they do not have to follow the ebbs and flows of educational system, that they can create their own path.
Use that for the super power that it is and stop trying to make them keep up with everyone else. That doesn’t mean to like, let it go, let it flow, forget about it. That just means really stay in your lane with your child and what that looks like. And if something on that, IEP is not in alignment with how you want to run things, get that adjusted. It’s a team effort and it’s not about getting them up to grade level all the time.
Like for my daughter, it was just about, okay, let’s get her in the classroom without having an anxiety attack. It wasn’t about the academics for the first, for elementary and middle school. It was not about the academics. It was about getting her in a class without her melting down.
That was it. Now, by the time she got to high school, because all we worked on was that social piece and the anxiety. She was so independent because we given her the skills. And although she wasn’t at grade level, she was able to be in that environment without needing support.
And the teachers modify things to her understanding level, her reading actually soared because I stopped working on academics in middle school and elementary school.
And when she got to high school, her reading soared and things began to pick up quickly because I wasn’t trying to put all the things in there to get all the things going in there. So I sincerely hope you hear me and that this was helpful. I seriously invite you to begin to evaluate what your kid is doing, how that’s impacting them and how it’s impacting you and adjusting and removing things as necessary.
Getting clear on that. If you need support, as you see, that’s what I do is I help you to get clear at clarity on that and to create the voice, to move some of those things around and tell some of those people, teacher think, no, we’re, we’re good with this.
We’re going to do something else, but I highly suggest you go through this and you do this because some of you have all of these therapies going on and you’re overwhelmed. And you don’t see any time in your day because you’re doing team too much. And you’re doing things that don’t even really need to be done. I know they feel like they need to be done because you’re going to feel like a bad parent.
The therapist and teachers and ish are really good at low key making you feel like a bad parent for not doing this , but you’re not.
You’re doing listen to the best interest of you and of your child. And if you aren’t at your top space, you can’t support your child to be at theirs. So sincerely hope this was helpful. If you have any questions, comments, ahas, what you talking about? Willis, pop them down in the comment section below I’m here. I’ll answer. I’m here to, I’m here to help you. Co-create not support you cause this ain’t no AA meeting.
I’m here to help you. Co-create the life and the integration that you want to create for your special family, without you having more overwhelming your life. Like that’s it. That’s the gag and you are totally worthy and you can do this no matter what is going on in your child’s world.
So remember, love yourself. Love your family. Love your business, love your life. And I will see you later. Bye.