Why It’s Important to Keep Up with Therapy During the Holidays

As the joyous atmosphere of the holiday season approaches, we must emphasize the significance of maintaining consistency in pediatric therapy for children with various developmental, physical, or social-emotional needs. With a focus on ensuring the holistic well-being of its clients, Reach for the Top Therapy Services, the only therapy clinic in the Dover, NH, area offering trauma-informed and neurodiverse-affirming therapies, recognizes the importance of continuity of care, to achieve sustained growth and progress in children’s lives. Keep reading to discover the benefits of consistent therapeutic care. 

  1. Ensuring Uninterrupted Progress

For children in therapy for developmental disorders, physical disabilities, or behavioral challenges, maintaining a consistent therapy schedule during the holidays is paramount. These therapy sessions support their specific needs, which sometimes increase during schedule disruptions like school breaks during the busy holiday season. Continuing with their weekly sessions, and even getting in a missed make-up session, positively impact the child’s overall progress. Consistency in therapy aids in maintaining the momentum of progress achieved throughout the year, ensuring that the hard work and efforts invested by the children, their families, and their therapists do not dwindle during the holiday period. 

  1. Promoting Emotional Stability

Festivities and gatherings during the holiday season often bring about changes in routines, social environments, and family dynamics. While these changes are typically embraced with enthusiasm, they can also induce stress and anxiety in children, especially those who thrive on structure and predictability. Pediatric therapy plays a vital role in promoting emotional stability during these times of routine disruption. By providing a safe and familiar space, therapists help children navigate the emotional challenges that may arise, offering coping strategies and emotional support to help them manage holiday-related stress effectively.  Including advocating for their sensory and/or feeding needs and differences to family members who may not understand those needs.  

  1. Preventing Regression

Children may experience regression if therapy is interrupted for an extended period of time. Regular therapy sessions help children consolidate and reinforce the skills they have learned, ensuring that they continue to make steady progress in their developmental journey. By continuing therapy during the holidays, caregivers and therapists can make sure that the child’s developmental milestones are not compromised and prevent setbacks that may occur due to the disruption of routine during the holiday season. 

  1. Supporting Family Involvement

Reach’s family-centered therapy model welcomes the involvement of parents or caregivers, who are crucial to their child’s progress. The holiday season presents opportunities for families to come together and partake in various activities, so incorporating pediatric therapy during this time can foster increased family connection and support. Additionally, involving extended family members in therapy sessions can provide a deeper understanding of the child’s needs and progress. It encourages active participation from the family, fostering a safe environment that extends beyond therapy sessions and into the child’s everyday life. 

  1. Fostering Social Interaction

The holiday season is also a time for numerous social gatherings, festivities, and community events. For children undergoing therapy for emotional, social, and/or behavioral challenges, the holiday period can serve as an invaluable time to work through stress or challenges that arise when different social demands challenge the child’s abilities in a way that adds greater stress, rather than ending in a positive interaction.  Our therapists are highly trained in neurodiverse affirming strategies that help advocate for each child’s needs, preferences, and strengths to bring value to the social interaction, even if it ‘looks different’ than neurotypical expectations portray as successful.  We can help your family and friends embrace your child for who they are and the value they naturally bring.  Moreover, in a play-based therapy model like the one offered at Reach, children can learn cooperation, empathy, and problem-solving skills — all of which positively impact their social interactions beyond therapy sessions. 

  1. Promoting Inclusivity and Sensitivity

Inclusive and sensitive practices are fundamental in ensuring that children with special needs feel valued, understood, and accepted during the holiday season. Festive environments can be overwhelming and too stimulating for children with sensory processing issues, which can lead to discomfort and emotional distress. By continuing pediatric therapy, families, caregivers, and therapists reinforce the importance of inclusion while ensuring their children’s well-being and needs are prioritized while encouraging their participation in holiday activities and community events. This approach fosters a culture of acceptance and understanding, promoting an environment where children with diverse needs feel seen, heard, and celebrated during the holiday season. 

Commitment to Attendance 

As the holiday season approaches, it is crucial to prioritize the continuation of pediatric therapy to ensure that the developmental, emotional, and social needs of children are consistently met. However, the festive season also coincides with cold and flu season, negatively impacting everyone’s ability to attend sessions. Although families and therapists alike may miss the occasional appointment, to improve outcomes and attendance, Reach pioneered a new approach to therapy scheduling that is a win-win. 

The clinic offers two scheduling options: regular recurring sessions (the same day and time) and flexible ‘flex’ scheduling (varies week-to-week, based on availability). Missed appointments are rescheduled to align with the child’s care plan, ensuring that above 50% of scheduled visits are kept in a 4-week period for families to maintain their recurring spot. Suppose a family is unable to make up a visit with teletherapy or another time that same week and is at 50% attendance or below. In that case, they are automatically transferred from recurring to flexible ‘flex’ scheduling. 

“By maintaining a steadfast commitment to therapy during the holiday season, we uphold the well-being and progress of our children. Embracing the significance of continuity, inclusivity, and support, we create a nurturing environment where every child can flourish, regardless of their individual differences, strengths, or challenges. Together, let us celebrate the spirit of growth and resilience, making the holiday season a time of development, connection, and unwavering support for all children.” – Amy Rich Crane, Executive Director 

As Reach for the Top Therapy Services continues to lead the way in family-centered therapy, it exemplifies the importance of commitment to attendance and scheduling flexibility, ensuring that all children and families have the opportunity to access and benefit from continuous therapy services. This forward-thinking approach better serves the needs of the community and also facilitates ongoing growth and development within the clinic, so they are able to serve more.