Finding a therapist for your non-verbal child is less of a challenge if it’s approached with the right organization. The first thing you must determine is the cause of the non-verbal condition. Is it autism or selective muteness? There are therapists that specialize in both and it’s best to get one that knows your child’s unique issues.
Your child is your life, so just looking in the yellow pages or Google is not the best answer. Word of mouth is one way of obtaining referrals. It shouldn’t take very long to get the information you need in a networking situation with other parents. There are many meet-ups all across the country. Think about it this way–no one needs support more than parents do.
You can also get a referral from a friend or family-member you can trust and that knows the situation first-hand.
The next step in the process is the selection, which is the basis of this article. There are 4 steps to selection that are the most crucial and the rest should fall into place naturally thereafter.
1. Ask as Many Questions as you Can
Some of the most important questions would be anything pertaining to the background of the therapist in the area of non-verbalization in children. How long they’ve worked with this type of issue and what was the result? Can they share case studies with you? What’s their view on medication? Does their practice resonate with your core values as a parent?
2. Become Familiar with the Credentials
Credentials are important, and there’s more than just a therapist’s college degree. Make sure you know the difference between a psychologist, psychiatrist or social worker.
3. Interview at Least 3 Therapists
This is one of the most important steps because therapists all have different styles of counseling. Make sure there is a conversation that clearly states how and why they practice the way they do. For example, is it OK with you if the therapist works with your child alone? Will you be in a remote viewing area while this takes place? Are you OK with a therapist that works with parent and child together? Once this decision is made and you’ve had the conversation, you should be crystal clear about what to expect.
4. Get the Action Plan
Finally, make sure the action plan is clear. If your child is in school or preschool ask if the therapist will be speaking with the teachers or even guidance counselors.
These are the most logical steps to take for finding and selecting the correct therapist for your non-verbalizing child.