A developmental therapist can play an important role in helping children become healthy and functional adults. For this position, it is useful to have an analytical mind, an empathetic nature and exceptional communication skills. While sometimes it is possible to enter this field only with a degree in psychology, it is preferable to have a master’s or doctorate. Some of the main work tasks of a developmental therapist include evaluating children’s development, communicating with parents, recommending therapeutic techniques, and keeping records.
Perhaps the most fundamental aspect of this work is the assessment of children’s development. For example, if parents fear that one child develops more slowly than other children, a developmental therapist would make an assessment. During an assessment, he could ask the child a number of questions and implement tests to better understand the child’s level of development. Since he can work with a variety of children of different age groups, it is important for a developmental therapist to establish a relationship with each child and establish a level of confidence.
Along with this, he will usually communicate with a child’s parents for the duration of the therapy. This could involve asking parents questions, explaining the results after each session, and answering any questions parents might have. In some cases, a developmental therapist could also communicate with a child’s teachers to gain further insight. As a result, it is necessary for an individual in this role to communicate effectively with children and adults.
When determining that a child’s level of development is below average, it is the task of a development therapist to recommend therapeutic techniques. For example, if a child has a learning disability, the therapist may recommend enrolling them in specialist classes that meet those needs. If a child has difficulty speaking, they can recommend a program that focuses on that area. In some cases, it may even prescribe a certain type of treatment to treat a disorder. As each child will respond differently, it is crucial that a development therapist adapts to the specific needs of each individual child.
Additionally, it is usually necessary to maintain detailed documentation for each child seen. This may include parental contact information, results of the initial assessment, individual characteristics of each child, therapeutic techniques used, and final results. Keeping these records accurate and up to date is important for future reference and can be shared with other professionals who work or treat the child at a later date.