For the most part, a parent, carer, or even both parents will attend a therapy session with their child. This can be very important to ensure that the adults know what goals are being worked on, and to help reinforce the homework activities until the next time.
Occasionally, it may be felt necessary to bring another adult into the therapy session. This can be a school teacher, childminder, or grandparent. There can often be reasons for this, from behaviours being observed at home, but not in therapy, to helping family members who are important in the child’s life to better understand the diagnosis and to how best to help.
It is always best to let the therapist know that you will need to bring a family member or a third party into your child’s therapy session. Depending on the reason, there may be a better way to assist, especially when it comes to trying to explain to a family member how to help your child in their daily life.
It can be distracting, or unnerving for a child to have a lot of other people watching them while they are having an SLT or OT session, especially if it is someone who they usually wouldn’t see there.
Where it can work well is where the other person is someone who has frequent contact with the child and who may be able to help reinforce and encourage the SLT or OT activities day to day. Again, if the therapist knows this in advance, they can help try tailor that session so that it gives the person the information they need.
We also know that sometimes a sibling or siblings may need to be in the therapy session, often due to childcare considerations. Again, please let the therapist know as much in advance as possible. Depending on the ages and circumstances, sometimes a brother or sister in the therapy session can act as a therapist helper. This can also mean that mum or dad has another person at home who can help them with tasks and homework during the week!
A general rule of thumb however if there is someone who you feel may need to sit in on a therapy session for your child, is to contact the therapist and discuss.