Why It’s Okay to Question Your Child’s Therapists

SPARTAN-180x300I had a really unfortunate experience this morning on the phone with one of my son’s old speech therapists. My son Connor, now 5 1/2 years old, was once diagnosed with severe non-verbal “autism” and no longer carries a diagnosis. I had to call his old facility to clarify a few things about billing, etc., and the conversation just disappointed me and made me angry. I was talking on the phone, when Connor realized who it was that I was talking to and wanted to talk. So I gave him the phone, and they had a nice chat for about five minutes. I got back on the phone, and she said, “Wow, Maria, I cannot believe how well he’s speaking.” I sat there for a second, calmed myself and said, “Yes, he no longer carries a diagnosis. He’s indistinguishable from his peers.” The whole time I am thinking, Really? Really? Why should she be so amazed? When I first brought my son to that facility, I made it clear that I was not planning to be bringing him there for long, because I was treating the underlying medical issues, and it wouldn’t be needed. They knew my mentality in regards to today’s “autism,” and I tried to educate them. The therapist I selected for my son was wonderful and genuinely believed what I was doing was working and asked me questions about treatments. The others I know made fun of me behind my back (the one I spoke to today was one of them) and most likely called me crazy: “You can’t recover a child from autism.” (Yes. You. Can). I always pushed on and really questioned and tested my son’s therapist to ensure he was getting what he needed.

New definition for recovery from addiction has been releasedThis is what I need you all to realize: Not all therapists are created equal. While there are some truly, truly amazing therapists out there (thank you!), there are some that truly lack. If you feel your therapist does not see your child’s potential, or is condescending about your choices of alternative treatment, you have the right to fire him or her and find a better one. I meet with parents all the time, and a common thing I hear is “Well, his therapist said . . . [fill in the blank].” Parents put their faith in therapists — they just want their kids back — but this does not warrant them passing judgment on children’s potential. They need to be loving, supportive and motivated. It bothers me immensely that our children really feed off the vibe of others (despite what people tell you). If someone has this mentality about them, it transfers to the child because they get it. My son has often told me things I had said to him while he was trapped in his body from illness. These children hear you. I encourage everyone to read the book Ido in Autismland. It’s enlightening.

And, quite honestly, therapists should be taking notes from Thinking Moms because, despite what people say, today’s “autism” is medical: Heal the body; the brain will follow. I guess it may be unnerving to them sometimes, though. When my son was getting released from his IEP, the therapist said, “Don’t get too good at what you do. I need my job security.” This was her response to me after I told her that I was in the process of saving my own son. I have been able to help other families get their children better, too. I am not the only one, either, who has been told this.

Question_PuzzleIn closing, let me clarify this is not generalized therapist bashing. I know many who put 150 percent into the children they treat, and those children thrive. This is meant to be more of an awakening, more of a public service announcement that you do have the right to question, the right to empower yourself to get your children the appropriate respect and treatment they deserve. My son wouldn’t be where he is today if not for my no-BS Spartan ways. The best advice a high-functioning adult on the spectrum gave me early on was, “Do not let anyone determine your child’s capability.” It’s time to trust our innate ability as mothers to know what is best for our children.

Don’t give up the fight. Only forward from here!


~ Spartan

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7 Responses to Why It’s Okay to Question Your Child’s Therapists

  1. Maria ONeil says:

    Spartan here who wrote this piece – first let me say thank you so much for reading , let me answer a few questions ! Here is our back story:


    @Irene I agree with you on all levels!! Keep up the fight!

    @ She’ll thanks for your dedication to our children and constant support

    @ Jill thank you for being a Thinking Mom!! You and other therapists with open hearts and dedication are the future and healing of our kids! You ARE appreciated !

    @ Christina I do not do consulta at this time maybe someday in the future, if you need some direction please let me know.

    @ Mandy it took me three years and we did extensive treatment using his lab testing Etc as a guide… We did diet first- methyl b12, omegas and TMG to support his damaged methylation cycle , anti viral therapy for high viral load, mitochondrial cocktail for Mito dysfunction, yeast treatment , hyperbaric oxygen, upper cervical chiropractic adjustments etc. And a whole lot of telling him I knew he felt sick and I WOULD make him better.

    @ Linda thank you! And fight I will for other families from here on out!

  2. Irene says:

    Couldn’t agree more. Most of my son’s medical team think I’m nuts when I bring up his allergies and nutritional therapy. He is 3 and were not there yet but he is making really good progress. I’m not firing them, though because a) they don’t suck at what they do and b) I sort of feel like I need to do the therapies expected or I will look like a bad mom. To be honest, I don’t credit his therapy much for his improvement but it isn’t harming him either so I keep going. The best therapy he is receiving right now is his preschool which is a Montessori school. His psychologist wants him to do less school and more therapy but so far I have declined. I am more interested in finding medical/dietary solutions and I really believe Im right.

  3. It is very important to question your child’s therapist, teacher or doctor. Many ABA therapists are still being trained that Autism is a mystery and no one knows why. TMR, myself, and many fine parents, and those who work to recover children from the chemical assaults know better. One child x 80V=Autism. Thanks, Shell of “Recovering autism, ADHD, & Special Needs.”

  4. Jill McKeand says:

    I. LOVE. THIS. I am a pediatric OT AND a thinking mom! Nobody has the right to put limits on ANY child’s potential. The bottom line is that the brain can do amazing things when it gets what it needs! Open mindedness has to be at the forefront of EVERY treatment plan! Thank you for this post!

  5. Christina says:

    Do you do consultations?

  6. Mandy says:

    Wonderful! Thank you for sharing this. I’ve had many therapists tell us that autism is only treatable, not curable. Our son is now on the road to recovery. Your story, though, begs one question; what did you do, specifically, to recover your child?

  7. Linda says:

    Good for you…and good for your child having a Mommy who will fight for him 🙂

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