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Home-based Therapy, What is it?

Beyond the Walls of the Therapy Centre: A Holistic Approach to Therapy



Home-based Therapy in Singapore for children with special needs

A child’s environment is dynamic and ever-changing; the people and places that surround the child work in a symbiotic and interdependent way that contributes to his/her development. As a Developmental Therapist, I see Home-Based and School-Based therapy services in Singapore gain traction, and here I’ll share the intrinsic value of bringing therapy services beyond the walls of the therapy centre and undertaking a holistic approach to therapy.


An Ecological Perspective to Child Development

The Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological Model of Human Development suggests that a child is embedded within multiple systems which interact to influence behaviour.

The Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological Model of Human Development suggests that a child is embedded within multiple systems which interact to influence behaviour.


The Microsystem is the immediate environment in direct contact with the child. Schools, parents’ workplaces, networks of friends and communities, religious communities, and therapists, that form support networks of the child’s family make up the microsystem. But most importantly, the home environment and family members are the closest objects in the child’s microsystem.


The other systems surrounding the child include:

  1. Mesosystem: Interaction between components of the Microsystem

  2. Exosystem: Indirect environment of the child (e.g., educational system, political system)

  3. Macrosystem: Social Ideologies; Cultural elements

  4. Chronosystem: Influence of time period and history; Influence of life stage


HOME-Based Therapy

For nearly two decades, the Total Communication Therapy Center in Singapore has been providing center-based therapy services. Recognizing the evolving landscape, we aim to elevate our services while maintaining top-notch quality. This entails extending our offerings to your home through online channels or convenient home/school visits. With our extensive experience, we have become adept at this transition. In the following section, we will delve into the advantages of home-based therapy.


 

What is Home-based Therapy?


Home-Based Therapy is simply put, the delivery of therapy services in the comfort of clients’ homes rather than in the therapy centre. Upon an initial consultation with an experienced therapist (which would likely be conducted in-centre), an Individualised Education Plan (IEP) will be drawn up and therapy commences to target the goals set in place.



Benefits of Home-Based Therapy


  1. Convenience and Comfort: For some children with special needs, the commute to therapy sessions disrupts their daily routine, in addition to the frequently sensorially overwhelming travel journey, leading to high anxiety levels and resistance against therapy sessions. Home-Based Therapy is sometimes recommended to families facing difficulties with the extra commute to therapy centres. More broadly, Home-Based Therapy sessions provide a comfortable and convenient environment for both the child and the family, in hopes of reaping the greatest therapeutic gains.

  2. Naturalistic and Generalisable: The therapy centre is a safe and conducive space whereby qualified therapists carve intentional space for children to learn and practice different skillsets. In Home-Based Therapy, the role of the therapist is to weave these specific therapeutic goals into the child’s natural home environment. For example, the turn-taking social skill can be targeted through tabletop games with the therapist, and gradually progressed to games with family, and even taking turns to wash hands at the sink before mealtimes! Therapy in the child’s natural home environment provides endless opportunity for him/her to practice their new skills, and even generalise the skills to new contexts, accelerating therapy progress!

  3. Collaborative: Bronfenbrenner’s Model highlights the importance of taking into consideration the child’s entire social environment in the course of development. A key benefit of home-based therapy is the opportunity it provides for strong collaborative relationships to be built between therapist, child, and family. The home environment creates the perfect platform for caregiver training to occur, whereby therapists can share beneficial strategies and/or activities for caregivers to practice with the children. Typically, increasing the consistency of practice further serves to facilitate therapeutic gains.



What is the Next Step?


It is most vital and desirable to include the child’s whole surrounding environment, to undertake a holistic approach to his/her development. Home-Based Therapy sessions serve as a bridge between therapists and families and create chances to enrich the child’s whole environment with learning experiences and opportunities. Ultimately, each child’s needs across multiple domains must be addressed when implementing treatment, and remediation strategies should be tailored to the child’s unique needs.

At Total Communication, our team of experienced and licensed therapists are committed to evidence-based practices, to deliver individualised and effective solutions for our clients both in centre and in homes in Singapore! We take on a client-centric, family-centered approach, to provide individualised and effective support in the holistic development of our clients.


If you have any questions, or concerns about your child’s development, feel free to contact us at Total Communication, it is our pleasure to support you and your child in this journey!







References

Bettis, J., Kakkar, S., & Chan, C. D. (2020). Taking access to the community: An ecological systems framework for in‐home counseling with older adults. Adultspan Journal, 19(1), 54-64.


Haefele, W. F., & Henggeler, S. W. (1983). Autism: A Family-Ecological Systems Perspective.


Hayes, S. A., & Watson, S. L. (2013). The impact of parenting stress: A meta-analysis of studies comparing the experience of parenting stress in parents of children with and without autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 43 (3),629–642. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-012- 1604-y


Predescu, M., Al Ghazi, L., & Darjan, I. (2018). An Ecological Approach of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Educational Sciences, 19, 31-43.



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