A developmental therapist typically works in early childhood education and helps children who are facing developmental delays to develop their motor skills and language skills. The therapist must be skilled in working with children that have a diverse range of disabilities; for example, some children may be visually impaired or hard of hearing. The therapist may also help children to be able to interact more positively with others, especially other children.
With new clients, the therapist usually performs an evaluation on the child and then works with the parents to determine a plan for the child’s development. They perform various exercises with the child to improve the skills that need to be worked on; parents are also instructed on how to carry out any needed exercises at home. Periodically, the therapist evaluates the client's progress to determine if changes need to be made to the development plan. The therapist may work with other professionals such as other therapists, doctors and psychologists, so teamwork skills and collaboration are necessary.
Often, a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a field such as early childhood education or early childhood special education is necessary for these positions. However, some jobs are open to individuals with an associate’s degree or a high school diploma or equivalent. Additionally, it is often necessary to be physically fit, as the therapist often helps the child carry out some exercises.
Developmental Therapist Tasks
Perform patient evaluations to determine goals and objectives.
Provide developmental intervention in children to assist with skill delays and improvement.
Educate and train caregivers to aid them in addressing child’s needs.
Perform therapy services with focus on play skills and developmental learning.