After School Appointments

Parents of school-aged children know that the fastest 3-4 hours of the day are those between school and bedtime. If homework, dinner, and bedtime routines weren’t already enough, then adding extracurricular activities is sure to maximize our stress levels! Adding in a recurring appointment for your child, whether it be speech therapy, counseling, or tutoring – now that just feels impossible!

When those hours are limited to begin with, there are some options and things to consider when scheduling your child’s therapy appointments:

  • Check to see if early morning appointments are available. After-school times are in high-demand, so an appointment at 7:30 or 7:45 may be a great solution.
  • Ask to be on a call-list for when your provider gets cancellations. It does require flexibility, but cancellation rates tend to be higher in the pediatric population so there is a good possibility that you can get a coveted afternoon session. If the time doesn’t work for that day, simply pass and another may still come along in the same week.
  • Take advantage of school holidays. Most providers are closed only for major holidays, so you may be able to get the session in earlier in the day, leaving the rest of the school break open for other fun activities….or just much-needed downtime!
  • Therapists, counselors, and other health professionals get sick and take vacation time too. Consider seeing a different provider if your regular professional is gone. Having someone different work with your child can provide another perspective or new ideas. It also presents an opportunity for your child to be challenged without negatively impacting the rapport built between the child and regular provider.
  • If your child is involved in other activities, consider a short break from one of them, allowing the time to commit to the therapeutic service. Therapies or counseling should not go on for many months or years. In fact, the more intensive services are, the sooner goals are typically achieved. Committing to a six-week episode of therapy services, even if twice a week, seems more realistic than doing something once every two weeks, with no end-date.

Time is precious with our kids, but knowing that we are giving them every opportunity to be successful and the best version of themselves is one of the best rewards of parenting. Creating time for improving health, wellness, social skills, or other areas of development will prove to be an excellent investment for your child later on.