Tuesday, October 14, 2014

OT Evaluation Results

In my last post, I talked about what I'd missed about OT and how we were about to have an evaluation. We did, and he qualified for services on several fronts.

I expected there to be vision issues, although not serious ones, as the eye doctor had told us the convergence insufficiency he spotted had improved quite a bit.  Despite that, the OT recommended further evaluation with a developmental ophthalmologist, which we will look into (again) soon.  I expected some issue with motor skills, but surprisingly, fine motor skills tested okay.  Upper body strength, however, was VERY poor, which shocked me.  Yes, he slouches and leans on everything he can, but he looks fairly normal when walking about and playing soccer; on the other hand, he does resist basketball and baseball, which fits that diagnosis.  I was told his finer motor skills were actually average and he was using them to compensate for the gross motor skill issues.

They agreed that the feeding therapy would be useful to him, and will also be working on his accepting textures so he can dress appropriately for the weather (meaning, wear socks in winter instead of crocs).  They recommended two sessions a week, 45 minutes each, but in the past month, that's only happened once.  We've been out of town or the therapist cancelled.  Its all good - we only get 20 visits on our insurance anyway, and will easily run out before the end of the year. :-/

The center he is going to follows the Minds in Motion protocol. (He went to MIM in Louisville for fall session in 2012, and loved it!)  They go through a set of exercises, then they have him write 15 words, and are timing him to measure progress (he's under 6 minutes now, after just 4 sessions).  He gets really sweaty palms when hand-writing, which she (the OT, who we will call Esther) found note-worthy, and needs work on differentiating upper and lower-case letters. One session a week they are supposed to work on the feeding, but until we get going twice a week, I won't be able to report on that (stay tuned next month!).

He has been fairly cooperative with his 'homework', which is the same set of exercises they do at the center.  One or two of the exercises increases in difficulty each week, and he remembers the changes, so I know he pays attention to Esther.  I, on the other hand, have trouble remembering to work through them, especially when on vacation or out of town.  Hopefully the bulk of travel is out of the way for 6 weeks or so, and we can really focus on making those connections happen in his brain, and building the body strength up.

The Sensory Spectrum

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What is missing since we quit OT?

Its been almost a year since The Boy's pediatric occupational therapist (OT) 'graduated' him because he was doing "so well".    I was glad for the break from appointments and bills, and planned on continuing what I had learned with him at home.

Its been a couple of months since we both agreed that he needs to go back.  Today he will go to a new pediatric OT practice for a two-hour evaluation, to see what services they believe will benefit him.  I'm excited, because we have been quite stuck without a weekly visit to encourage him and hold him accountable to the at-home exercises!

Here are some things I've noticed lacking, since we don't have the accountability of an OT.

  • He will not do the recommend exercises or techniques, even when he knows they will help him calm down
  • I will not remind him to do the daily preventative routines, including special music, brushing and joint compressions, heavy work routines, and more.  Its a big job and a lot of work to stay on track, and once I am out of that routine....I cannot get back to it.  Between my resistance and his, it ain't happenin'.
  • I can push sensory explanations for his behavior to the background, without the regular reminder that he really does have a difference from others...he just looks so normal, LOL
  • He has less motivation for trying new foods because no one will be asking him on Tuesday what he's been eating.
  • The release and centeredness that came from that actual OT session, reminding him of how good he does feel when he follows the routines.
What sort of things do you miss when your sensory kiddo skips a session or has graduated from OT?

The Sensory Spectrum