23 Feb The Unexpected Benefits of New Hope
by Denise Caudill, NHI Parent
When considering what therapies you want your child to receive, you also need to think about where he or she will receive the services. Some providers offer in-home sessions in addition to on-site therapy. Understandably, not everyone has the option of going outside the home environment for treatment. Only you as the parent and/or caregiver can decide what option is best suited for your child and family. For us, receiving music therapy and recreational therapy at New Hope of Indiana offered what we needed and a few unexpected benefits.
In previous years, three therapists provided services at our house. I thought it would be convenient to have the various therapies at home. However, I realized it did not suit our lifestyle or the goals that I have for my daughter. For instance, I am a stickler for punctuality. Due to traffic conditions, weather, a previous client ran late, any number of reasons resulted in an often delayed appointment time for my daughter’s session. We have a tight schedule, so this became an inconvenience and an annoyance. Because I am responsible for getting to New Hope of Indiana and my daughter has firm appointment times, unnecessary stress is relieved. Being on-site for therapies also offers access to more materials. The therapists can be more spontaneous and less rigid with the activities available to them. My daughter’s mood understandably varies, and she may request to do an unplanned activity. If the therapist did not bring it with her to the house that day, this was no longer an option. Space was also another consideration in determining if my daughter’s goals could be met at home. For recreational therapy, I wanted her to focus on gross motor skills. Our house does not have the open space to ride a bike, play soccer or baseball, or attempt any number of other activities. New Hope of Indiana has the space that she can do all of these and much more.
An additional benefit to receiving therapies on-site at New Hope of Indiana is that it is a safe place to practice community and social skills. I know that the people my daughter encounters throughout the building are understanding and compassionate. I am not worried that they will take offense to something she says or become irritated that she asks their name five times. My daughter is learning boundaries, such as knocking before entering an office as opposed to barging through an open door. In addition, she is working on saying, “Hello,” “Good bye,” and “Thank you.” Because her activities occur throughout the building, this social component evolved organically and has since become one of her goals.
Furthermore, my daughter is getting out of the house and expanding her world. She knows which direction to go and where to turn to arrive at New Hope of Indiana. Not only is she navigating the community, but also a new building. With assistance, she had to find locations, people and restrooms. It may seem like a simple task, but it was important for her to practice locking and unlocking the bathroom stall door on her own. Also, learning if the sink and towel dispenser are automatic or manual and how to use them appropriately.
As a parent, I also discovered my own unexpected advantages of going to New Hope of Indiana for her therapies. As mentioned earlier, having a set time was necessary for our lifestyle, which in turn, reduced my stress level. Furthermore, I am able to have a few minutes of down time to sit and read a book. If I were at home, I would be attending to household chores or taking care of other business. By staying at New Hope and waiting for therapy to be completed, I am able to carve out 45-minutes of time for myself to take a break and recharge. I became as much of a fixture as the couch I sat on outside of the therapy room. New Hope of Indiana personnel began to stop by and say hello or to ask how things were going. Being a caregiver can be very isolating at times and having a human connection with people who understand my situation has been rejuvenating. I am grateful for the relationships that have developed.
For our family, receiving music therapy and recreational therapy at New Hope of Indiana works. Of course only you can decide what is best for your child and family. With decisions like these, there are no wrong or right answers. I only wanted to share our experience and the unexpected benefits that we discovered along the way by choosing New Hope of Indiana as a provider.