When 10 Years of Home-Based Therapy Ends, What Comes Next?

Gratitude and relief — that’s what we feel after wrapping up 10 years of home-based therapy.

We started Early Intervention almost 10 years ago, and we have finally come to the point where we do not need a home-based therapist. We have had speech, occupational, physical, and behavioral therapists in our home at least once a week over the last 10 years for our autistic son.  

We are grateful for the 11 wonderfully dedicated women who have supported and cared for our entire family over the last decade. They provided vital services to our son, as well as his two younger siblings. These women helped us navigate parenting a neurodiverse child. Many of the techniques and ways we communicate with our son came from home therapy — from basic sign language and how to give him space safely during a preschool meltdown to social stories and having conversations. This all came from these professional, kind, and diligent women. These women gave us balance and structure.  

It was a team effort. Their guidance, expertise, and patience made this journey a little less lonely and terrifying. 

I personally would not be the mom I am today without their influence. These women were my “village” when I felt like no one else could understand the burden I felt parenting my son. They will be forever a part of our journey, and I truly bonded with and enjoyed each of them.

We are also relieved to see home therapy come to an end. We are relieved that our son has made such amazing progress. We are relieved to not have to clean up the house on therapy days. We are relieved to not have to fight the two younger kids who always want to be involved in the therapy sessions. We are relieved to have freedom for more extracurricular activities. We are relieved to not be eating family dinner while a therapist also sits at the table.

Having home therapy was necessary and beneficial, but it was also exhausting.  

Our son now attends a social skills group with his peers instead of home therapy. This is such a win. He loves his group of kids and the adults who run the program. He is thriving.

When our home-therapy journey started, we had no idea if or when it would end. We never thought about it until we decided, with his team, that it was no longer serving him, and it was time for a change.  

Having a therapist in your home on a regular basis is a unique experience few families will understand. If your family uses home therapy, please know you are not alone — and it may not be forever. Soak up all the knowledge and ask for help. Embrace this phase of special needs parenting. You will look back at the journey amazed that you got through it while appreciating all it has given your family.

Leah was raised in Greater Boston, where she met her husband in 2006. They moved to North Carolina for a few years before deciding their hearts were still in Massachusetts. Leah is a stay-at-home mom and has three children — boy, girl, boy — born in 2011, 2014, and 2017. Her oldest son in autistic. Children with disabilities — and the families raising them — have a special place in Leah's heart. She loves "The Office," date nights, tacos, U.S. history, and the beach. She enjoys sharing her experiences of motherhood, the good and the difficult, to encourage other moms that they are not alone. Loves: Great food (mostly made by her talented husband), playing with the kids, the beach, date nights, The Pats, The Sox, The B’s, new socks and bras, and American history, and movies. Can’t stand: Cotton balls, weeds, broken crayons, pollen, and vacuuming up Cheerios every half hour.

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