Question: I’m making plans for my clients to continue practicing at home. At the clinic they play Timocco with ease and enthusiasm; at every session, the children ask to play Timocco. However, it’s very hard to get them to play at home even though they have a kit. How can I help them with that?
One of the biggest challenges that we, as therapists, can encounter is creating a continuity of treatment; starting in the sessions in the clinic and continuing to the child’s natural environment at home. This is a challenge we come across on a weekly basis, and it isn’t easy to overcome.
The convenience of the virtual environment, being both accessible and motivational, has the potential to encourage the child and their family to continue working from home. It’s important to remember that it’s always difficult for parents to be consistent with home programs that aren’t structured. We encounter this difficulty with many families that we meet.
So how do we increase the chance that they will practice from home?
- Include the child in choosing games for the home plan. Dedicate five minutes out of the session for choosing the games together.
- Ask the parents which days they are more likely to have time to play Timocco with their child, and schedule those days accordingly.
- Aim for three days a week of playing, but set games for all days of the week so that there is always a game ready to be played.
- Set the duration of the games for no longer than 1-2 minutes. This will increase the child’s feeling of success and accomplishment, and reduce the chance they may quit playing before completing their assigned games.
But most importantly – Enjoy! Have fun! This isn’t ordinary practice and it isn’t homework… Explain to the parent and child that playing Timocco is quality time for shared playing time, fun time!
Hope this helps,
Sarit Tresser, OT