Already stunned parents walk out of hospitals day after day with a handful of pamphlets and phone numbers to call to set up services for a child that has been diagnosed with special needs. You haven't had a moment to really digest what this all means for your life... for your child's life. Part of you holds out hope that you won't need any of the information they stock piled upon you, and that you'll be able to use it as kindling for a fire and this all will be a distant memory. The other part is trying to grasp the reality that life as you once knew it is forever and always gone, and that your child will indeed need a multitude of therapists, specialists, doctors and care providers during their lifetime. You're sent home with the words "expect the worst, hope for the best." In your mind you translate that to: "I can fix this."

As you begin your quest to help your child in all ways possible you'll be flipping through the information and see therapies like occupational therapy (OT), physical therapy (PT), speech therapy (SLP) - and sometimes for good measure, behavioural therapy.  You think to yourself is this all I have at my disposal?  The only means I have for assisting my child?   The answer is no.  

It's the big wide world of alternative therapies.   You get excited like you just opened a new chapter of an undiscovered book.  Something else that might help.  But then suddenly you experience another blow to your already crushed heart... these are going to cost a pretty penny to explore.  Your insurance carrier doesn't cover any of them.   But  then without warning in an instant something inside you says "I will find a way."

But what alternative therapies do you choose to try?  You spend countless hours researching all that is out there to help a child with special needs.   You might stumble on some really odd therapies that make you scratch your head, like sleeping under a magnet, or doing a rain dance around your child during a full moon.   For a moment you second guess your quest to search out other forms of help, but your search presses on.  

The best thing you can do is search out what other parents are saying the benefits and risks were to trying a particular therapy.   Special needs parents tend to gravitate towards what works - even if there isn't a study supporting a particular therapy in a medical journal.  The proof is in the pudding so to speak. 

So what are some good alternative therapies to explore you ask?  Well here's a short list of some therapies that are growing in popularity:

  • - ABM/Feldenkrais
  • - Acupuncture
  • - Cranial Sacral
  • - Medek
  • - Masgutova Method
  • - Warm Water Therapy
  • - Hippotherapy
  • - Conductive Education
  • - Therasuit Therapy
  • - Music Therapy
  • - Island Dolphin Care Therapy

Many parents are chosing to combine both traditional therapy approaches with alternative forms of therapy.  No matter what method of therapy you chose to to explore for your child with special needs always remember that the greatest therapy is love.  There is other therapy like it. 

Know of other great forms of alternative therapies?  Leave us a comment with your great feedback!

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