The Pros and Cons of Alternative Therapies

By Hirsch, David | The Exceptional Parent, November 1997 | Go to article overview

The Pros and Cons of Alternative Therapies


Hirsch, David, The Exceptional Parent


Q I am a foster mother of two beautiful children, an eight-year-old boy with spastic diplegia and a two-year-old girl with hypotonia and developmental delay of unknown cause. Both receive physical and occupational therapy. My son also gets speech therapy.

How do I determine if they are getting the right type and amount of therapy? Another foster mom says her daughter is getting both sensory integration therapy and visual therapy. Are there any advantages to those types of therapies? Also, could therapy prevent cerebral palsy if started right after birth?

A Disabilities like cerebral palsy and hypotonia are caused by injury to the brain. Therapy cannot prevent cerebral palsy.

Traditional therapies (physical, occupational and speech therapy) are only effective when their goals are appropriate for the child's current needs, abilities and disabilities, and developmental stage. The amount of therapy should promote improvement or prevent deterioration in function and abilities, if possible. Meaningful, measurable goals which are realistically attainable should be set by the parent, therapist and physician ordering the therapy with input from the child, if appropriate. Recreational, social and family issues should also be considered. Community resources should be used whenever appropriate.

Therapy goals in the pre-school and elementary years should focus on communication, self-care, mobility, comfort and prevention of deformity. In adolescence, goals should concentrate on the transition into adulthood independence, pre-vocational skills, self-care and ease of care and comfort.

Since the amount of "hands on" therapy is limited, parents should be taught a home program. According to IDEA '97, if therapy is necessary for the child to benefit from education, the school district must provide it. The district therapists should incorporate therapeutic goals into the classroom so the teaching staff can follow through with the activities. Whenever possible, all therapies-- private, state-funded and school-based--should be coordinated.

Team work

You are an integral part of the team and probably the best judge of the effectiveness of your children's therapy. You need to make it clear what you feel the treatment goals should be, assess the progress being made and assist the therapists and pediatrician or developmental specialist in recommending appropriate changes.

There is some skepticism in the medical community about the effectiveness of standard therapies. Studies have been done but the results have been mixed. I share your concern that ineffective therapy may detract from the real needs of your children. In my experience, the majority of parents and caregivers of children diagnosed with cerebral palsy or hypotonia feel therapy is effective for their children.

Non-standard therapy

There is more controversy about nonstandard therapies, such as visual therapy and sensory integration therapy. Some parents try these therapies because traditional therapies didn't meet their child's needs. Unfortunately, nonstandard therapies are often based on oversimplified, pseudoscientific theories that claim a single cause and hence a single intervention to cure the dysfunction. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Pros and Cons of Alternative Therapies
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.