Chances are, if you are reading this, you are someone in your life is dealing with some kind of challenge. And, you have either already assembled a team of specialists to help or are trying to figure out how to do so. This team may include everyone from your family physician to faithful friends and family members who are there for you when you need a break. Your team may include a Behavior Analyst and an Occupational Therapist. Maybe a licensed clinician or a group of volunteers trained in “floor time”. Your team may include clergy or coaches. It should include teachers and even school administrators. Often finding the right people to be on your team is in itself a challenge! How do you know when someone is really “there for you?” There are so many options and not all the choices are right for everyone. However, picking the right people to be on your team is one of the most important things you can do to help you or a loved one be successful in dealing with whatever challenges they face.
Remember to question authority! Not all schools will suggest an IEP (Individual Education Plan) when this might be exactly what your child needs. Be sure to ask what your options are. Not every school will be a good fit. Do they offer special education classes and what do these classes look like? Will they allow you to have your child integrated into a regular classroom with an aide? What is the school doing to address the very real problem of bullying? Know your rights and don’t be afraid to push for what you feel is right for your child, but also be open to all possibilities.
It is impossible for every doctor or clinician to be aware of every bit of new research that has been done in all areas. You never know when some doctor has heard of something new that might be able to help your child, but you can assist by being informed. Use the internet to learn about new research/therapies and ask your medical staff about anything you find that you want more information on. If something does not feel right, get a second opinion when possible. Just because someone is licensed, does not automatically make them good at what they do. You want to make sure, to the best of your ability, that these critical people are truly interested in what is best for you or your child/teen. This is not always the case. I have actually had a licensed therapist say to me, that though he thought equine therapy might help his client, he was not sure it was “medically necessary,” (Nevada Medicaid’s criteria for authorizing coverage) sadly, without the clinical support, this child has not been about to participate in our program, though her brother, who sees a different clinician was approved and is doing well in his work with horses.
Not all types of therapy are right for every person. You or your child/teen may feel perfectly comfortable talking to a caring therapist about what is going on in your life and how you might be able to make things work better. However, this type of therapy is not for everyone. Though we offer (and are very passionate about ) Equine Assisted Therapy, we realize that this might not be right for everyone. We had a gal come out one time to “give it a try” only to have her confess at the end of the session that she’s “not really the outdoorsy” type. However, she might find art therapy or music therapy or even play therapy something that is perfect for her. We believe there is a “saddle for every butt”, so check out all the options that are available till you find a program that works well for you.
There are some GREAT people out there (see our Links page for some of the people that we know, work with and trust) and, though you may have to interview several different people to find just the right ones, having the right team will make your goals much more attainable.