Topic Preview: The Complementing Roles of Therapy and Special Education

Time slot: 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM
By Dr. Ferdiliza Garcia

As soon as a child is diagnosed with a developmental disorder, doctors usually refer the child to various therapies depending on the nature of his condition. Therapeutic interventions are deeply rooted in the latest medical and psychological perspectives which aim to prevent, alleviate, or even cure a child’s state. Various therapeutic interventions aim to facilitate the normal developmental process or enhance the child’s capacities in the motor, sensory, perceptual, emotional, cognitive, and language components.

Depending on the child’s condition and the point in time of the referral, therapists may employ different approaches to manage the child with special needs. The usual progression is for therapist to prepare the child for school where the facilitation of the maturation of sensorimotor skills are vital. The therapist’s job is to provide as much stimulation and opportunities for movement and learning to occur. The child is provided with opportunities to explore and discover his environment in which the child learns cause and effect as well as relating to significant others. As a child progress through the achievement of essential milestone, the therapist will focus on improvement of performance in school-related tasks, focusing on essential psychomotor development while laying the groundwork for the child to eventually become productive members of society.

As with education, the therapy process involves quite a long and arduous journey as it involves learning in all aspects - learning to jump, skip, hop; learning to hold a pencil effectively, learning to count, learning to communicate one’s needs, and learning to socialize are skills that lay the foundation for life skills and eventually affect quality of life. Therapeutic goals are directed to attain one’s full potential to communicate, move and function daily so as to enjoy life and be able to participate fully making one a productive member of the community.


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