Today I want to talk about our middle school kids.
Why It’s an Awkard Stage
This is an awkward stage of life, where our kids are not really little kids, but not really a teenager or an adult. Their responsibilities are increasing, but at the same time, they’re not really sure they want their responsibilities to increase. They still like the freedom of being kids, but they want the privileges of being a young adult.
Of course, this is also the time when their bodies change. Voices change, hair grows, and hormones fluctuate. This is all a challenge for our typically-developing kids, but for our kids with disabilities, it’s an extreme challenge! They have all these same things happening to them, but they don’t understand why it’s all happening. And although their bodies may be at that age they may not be there cognitively, or they may have some learning differences that are more of a challenge for that age.
Addressing Issues Through Therapy
We always tell our families, when you’re in therapy here, no matter what kind of therapy you’re here for, we are going to be addressing those issues according to what your kiddo needs. Our therapists know how they need to intervene, and what kind of appropriate interventions need to be happening. We want the client to feel comfortable and be able to discuss the things they have concerns about, and then we can work on strategies to deal with those.
This is true even when it comes to hygiene issues. Our occupational therapists work very directly with these issues. OTs are trained to work through the lifespan, so they know what is appropriate at that time and have strategies they can work on to help the client be successful.
Camps and Classes
Right now, we’re in a time when we haven’t been able to have our camps or our social skills classes, or many of the different programs that we use to enhance our middle schoolers’ lives. We want to resume these as soon as we can (hooray for a vaccine!), but we have some things that we are offering in the meantime.
We have a social group that we are doing in conjunction with Parker University. They are working on activities and group communication, and other things like that. We have this 2-3 times a year. You are welcome to email or call the front office if you are interested in your kiddo participating in this. We will collect the list of clients, and I think they’re starting back up again this summer. This is a fantastic resource!
We are so ready to start our social groups and camps back up! Many of our kiddos don’t get to go to camps for typically-developing kids, so we really like to do these camps for them. We customize our camps to the age ranges that we have participating.
Your Next Step
If you’re a client and you need help with your middle schooler, talk to your therapist! As I said, if there are hygiene issues or other concerns, this is a topic we want to be discussing with you, and then address them in their treatment goals. Please let us know if there’s anything you want to talk about!