Home > Awareness > The Void a Therapist Can Leave

The Void a Therapist Can Leave

This week on Parenthood, Do Not Sleep with Your Autistic Nephew’s Therapist,’ Adam and Kristina are dealt a huge blow when Gaby, Max’s behavioral therapist, gives notice that she can no longer work with them. Adam and Kristina are unaware at the time why she is leaving, but she is visibly upset.

Adam and Kristina are stirring and unsure what do. They are trying to pick up where Gaby left off, but Max is full-blown meltdown mode and it seems there is little hope in site.

Have you experienced the departure of a therapist that affected your family? How did you handle it?

Please stay tuned this week for even more Parenthood discussion. Watch the full episode here, so you will be ready to participate!


  1. February 23, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Honestly, we have therapists come in and out of our lives all the time- occupational hazard of being on public assistance I guess.

    I worry that it’s impeding my son’s potential, but there’s not much I can do about it!

  2. February 23, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    It’s still hard for me to talk about. We had someone with us for a year and a half and she got a job offer she couldn’t refuse.

    When she told me I bawled my eyes out. I’m still sad about it and it’s been months. We’re in the process of hiring someone new but all I want is her to come back.

    Therapists become part of the family. I’ve had three other ones leave (or be let go) but they weren’t in our lives very long at all. We still have one that’s been with us almost two years and if she ever goes for good I’m gunna freak out.

  3. Tracey
    February 23, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    I thought the more interesting point and how they will handle it, is when the boy overhead that he has Aspergers! I think he should have been told right from the get go…….so wrong in my opinion…very unfair of them. We had to let one of our therapists go as she really overstepped her mark and became very possesive of our child…..

  4. February 23, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    We had a wonderful coordinator that worked with our daughter for 3 years and left with a few weeks notice for a new job. Fortunately, she told me first(and as we cried in my kitchen) we set a plan to give our daughter plenty of notice and we had a few transition sessions with the new coordinator. She still comes by to visit “socially” now and I know we are really blessed. We will be losing another therapist this summer so we are already forming a plan for that departure. Love the show Parenthood and how it is dealing with these issues.

  5. February 23, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    We moved, leaving a therapist behind. She was a speech therapist and the best. She helped our son’s speech evolve so quickly. It was a tearful good-bye and quite honestly, I don’t know if his current one ranks up there with her. Really, I don’t know because his speech is all done in a school setting now. :( So I miss that at-home setting a lot.

  6. Donna
    February 23, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    I am fortunate that I have not lost a therapist yet, my daughter has 3 that work with her on a weekly basis, aside from going to therapy with a PT and Speech Therapist. I did, however, have to choose one to take a break for a few months in order to stay within budget, and my daughter has repeatedly expressed her unhappiness. She thankfully does not have meltdowns like we see with Max, but she deals with it differently, more depressive. I cried when Gabby quit last night just at the look on Kristina’s face. I know that feeling of desperation when you have to make a huge change like that with your autistic child.

  7. Ken
    February 23, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Best episode title ever!

  8. Mr. V
    February 23, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Transition and change is a part of life, everybody’s life. With our two pre-k ASD children we’ve already dealt with a change of teachers, therapists, schools, all in just over a year. Lot’s and lot’s of proactive preparation. We have a number of chagnes and transitins looming again, and it promises to be heard for our youngest as she truly loves her school, her teachers and her environment, but we will do as much as we can with her to prep her for the changes that are coming. As the parents, we must be adaptable. We must form positive relationships with all of our therapists and teachers, yet realize that as our kid’s grow and mature, so must we, and we must guidet them through to the next phase, just as we move into it ourselves.

    Parenthood pushes credibility for me, and don’t care to watch it. And, really, I hope I am sleeping by the time it comes on :)

  9. MELANIE
    February 23, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    As a home based therapist, I am really angry about this story line. Up to now I was really on board with what Parenthood was doing with this story line. WHY did they need to taint it? I am disgusted!

  10. Jay P.
    February 23, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    I did not have the opportunity to see this episode of Parenthood; however, I am a behavior therapist that had to leave behind my kiddos when I moved out of state, one of which I had been with for nearly 2 years. It affected the family immensely, as they decided that they would rather discontinue my company’s service than get a new therapist. It wasn’t until I read some of you all stories that I realized just how emotional the experience can be for the entire family. I thought that I would be replaced and quickly forgotten, but it turns out that my departure was much more significant. Now, more than ever, I understand the role we as therapist play in the lives of the children we help and their families. And because of that, I want to be even better and even more dedicated. I want to conclude by saying, if it matters, it is emotional for us as well. I was a wreck because this child that has been growing physically and developmentally in front of my eyes, I could no longer see or contact. I knew his entire family; aunts, uncles, and cousins. I knew his teachers. I helped his teachers help him and now I have no idea how he is doing. It hurts, but its apart of our job and I would much rather know, love, and help these amazing children than to never know them just to protect my feelings. I wouldn’t change my occupation for the world.

  11. Mama Grizzly
    February 23, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Wow, we are going through this ourselves, in fact, today is the last day we meet with our son’s behavioral therapist who has been with him since he began therapy, over 3 years ago. Luckily, our therapist has been proactive with prepping him for the departure. We’ve been talking about it for a month, and she has created a book about how she will be leaving and a new behaviorist will be taking over, with their pictures, etc – but I think it was important that she included him in the process of making it. He told her that the book should end, “And they lived happily ever after.”

    There are some cartoon shows that have episodes that address how family/friends move away which he’s been watching too, which we also did when relatives/friends moved away. Another thing, our son likes playing the Wii, and with other relatives that they don’t get to see too often, we create their Mii characters and he understands that he can “pretend” to play with them, even though they live far away – adding to our Wii community, his therapist and helping him understand that too. I know he will miss her, but we will have her “Mii” character, pictures and the book.

  12. February 23, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    They are trying to pick up where Gaby left off, but Max is full-blown meltdown mode and it seems there is little hope in site.

  13. February 24, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Therapists come and go all the time. It is sad to see them go, but it is good for my child to get used to the changes.

    I think Gabby did the family a disservice by not training a replacement/sub well before all of this happened.

  14. Benita
    February 25, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    My daughter’s speech therapist left after a few months of being with her (August to November). She had finally gotten used to her and anticipated going to see her. When she put in her notice, I never thought to ask the company if they had anyone waiting to come in to take over her space… they didnt. We went from the week before Thanksgiving until the first week of February with no therapy. They finally got a new person in and after only 2 visits, she announced that she too would e leaving. I just switched my daughter to a new therapy office last week. GRRRRR! So frustrating trying to get her accustomed to new people and adjusted to the schedule just to have it all ripped out from under us.

    I feel that there should be some sort of clause in their contracts that they have to do things a certain way in order to 1. Help the children transition to another therapist. 2. Be sure not to leave ANY child or children without a therapist for any amount of time.

  1. February 23, 2011 at 3:16 pm
  2. February 28, 2011 at 1:57 pm

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