I kept two principles in mind when deciding what I needed to buy or borrow to start my therapy business:
- Wait and see what I need and then buy it – with internet shopping lots of things are available on next day delivery.
- Buy things that can be stored easily and used for multiple purposes – as I’d need to store everything at home and then carry it to therapy sessions.
I bought two standardised assessments, my most expensive purchase. I’m happy with the two I chose and how many times I’ve used them. The publishers have displays at industry conferences or events and offer discounts, so if you’re planning on going to an event and need to buy assessments check and see if the timing works out.
I also use informal measures like Language For Thinking and sequencing pictures from Black Sheep Press. Some observation schedules are available for free online, like the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers – so I use these.
Toys and books
My colleagues in the NHS asked what I’d like as a leaving gift, so my toy collection started with a tea set, a train set and Mr Potato Head! I bought toy animals, food and a fishing game. My parents still have toys from when my sisters and I were little so I “borrowed” soft toys and books from them. (Check the content of books, I love There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake but in my original copy, the character gets a smack: I skip this page.)
I’ve found some great bargains at charity shops and bought things to motivate particular clients. Homemade toys often go down well too, I still have the sparkly tube I made back in 2008 and still get strange looks carrying it to work on the bus!
I use my iPad in therapy. I record and watch back videos in Parent Child Interaction therapy, with a small set of speakers to boost the audio. I also use it to play games such as my favourites from Toca Boca. When I made a snakes and ladders style game to work on speech sounds, I realised I didn’t have dice, so I downloaded a free app (I think it’s for poker!)
We already had a colour printer and scanner at home, and I use both regularly. I bought a laminator and I use it for making visual timetables and other resources. I’ve written before about Lessonpix – the online product I use to make my visuals (and bingo games!) Finally, I use Cliniko to manage my appointments, write my case notes and send invoices. I’ll write more about how I use it in the next post.
Other bits and pieces
I bought two folding child sized tables and four chairs which I used for every session in my original therapy rooms and currently don’t use at all.
And my secret weapon? A box of tissues. I’ve finally realised that if I bring the tissues, I’m much less likely to get sneezed on!
This blog post is part of a series, read the previous posts here.