Tips On Looking For A Therapist
Hiring the right therapists for your child diagnosed with ASD is an essential step to jump-start your child’s treatment program. Finding the best one is easy, but finding the right one for your needs is a totally different issue. Not only is your child’s development at stake, but also your finances, time, and effort. Here are some tips that can help ease the task of finding the best therapists for your specific needs.
1. Look into lists of registered therapists. Do not rely on the first person that you meet or find. There are hundreds of therapists that you may choose from. Special Learning has a database full of registered ABA therapists in every state. Browse over it and choose several potential candidates to interview.
2. Network with parents that are in similar situations to yours. There are groups that you may join in most large communities and you may also participate in online networks as well. Special Learning has a forum dedicated to parents, providers, and educators for children with autism. It is a good place to start for finding vital information and even referrals to therapists other parents have used with their own children.
3. Call your selected few therapists from the database or from referrals. Here are some basic questions that you may ask:
● How much do they charge per day/per week/per hour?
● Do they do in-house therapies?
● Do they charge for telephone or email inquiries?
● How long is the waiting period to start your child’s program?
● How far away do they live?
● For out-of-the-house therapies: Do they have any other clients in your area which you can ask to share travel expenses?
● What is their educational background?
● How extensive is their experience in one-on-one sessions?
● Ask for some references.
4. If you have your eye on one or two therapists, get into their waiting list even if you haven’t firmly decided on one yet. If you find somebody else you can always cancel, but if you ultimately go with that person you will already be in the queue and won’t have to wait as long for your child’s turn for his or her first therapy session.
5. If you have a tight budget, look into local universities and colleges that offer courses on the kind of therapies you are interested in. Post a notice on bulletin boards in the psychology department letting students know you are interested in hiring a therapist. Graduate students may be short on experience but they have knowledge of the basic principles of their chosen profession and should be familiar with Autism Spectrum Disorder and therapy techniques. Therapists from universities and colleges are likely to charge a lot less than a well-experienced therapist.
Hiring a therapist for a child diagnosed with autism needs careful planning and research. The right therapist should not only be able to answer the needs of your child but of your whole family as well.
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