Siblings can feel like they are being left out when their brother or sister is having therapist(s) come to see them and play. They want to join and play as well. The best way to include them is to have them help with the therapy. As a therapist, I love including siblings. They help model and encourage their brother or sister in EI (Early Intervention) to learn new skills. Siblings are more helpful than parents realize.
If the siblings are around during therapy, let them help! As parents, we sometimes try to make sure the siblings are not in the way of the therapy. However, EI therapists are there to help not only the kiddo but the family. We love having the whole family involved in these sessions! If the sibling is older let them help model what you want. We all know that little siblings look up to and have to do everything their older sister or brother is doing. This will help encourage them to try. It also helps teach both kids how to take turns and engage with other kids. With younger siblings we can encourage our EI kiddos to teach their younger brother or sister how to do the skills we are working on.
As a therapist, I love having siblings help me during therapy. We are there for the whole family and the strategies we use are meant to be implemented by any family member, which is great! Having siblings involved in their sibling’s EI experience helps them feel included and needed. Siblings are an important part of Early Intervention and can be a huge help in encouraging and modeling new skills.