Thursday, December 8, 2011

More Therapy

I'm all for throwing everything but the kitchen sink at my girl when it comes to therapies or programs to help move her development along in the right direction.  Of course, there's that pesky little thing called Time that tends to get in the way - gone too quickly, each little available gap sucked away by other stuff, swallowed away into the abyss where it can never be recovered. 

Time

There's just not enough.  But occasionally, an opportunity presents itself that's too good to pass up.

We'd been on a waiting list for OT at our therapy center where Sammi receives private PT and ST every week.  We love her therapists there, and feel like they've really made some incredible progress with her.  She loves to go there with her daddy, and it's not uncommon for them to run into other little friends from the Ds community there with their parents. 

Last week we got the notice that one of the staff OTs had an opening, and the timing would work beautifully.  (Man, I love getting off of wait lists!!) 

We had never thought too seriously about Occupational Therapy, as it has been one of Samantha's strengths for some time now.  The OT she has received from the school therapists over the last 2 1/2 years has been phenomenal, and I couldn't be more pleased with what Sammi's accomplished.  I never thought she'd be writing, composing messages (albeit very LARGE messages) on her own with the letters dictated to her, never thought she'd be writing her name on EVERYTHING, sans dictation. 

However, this OT is also a Sensory OT, which means he works with children with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and other sensory issues.  I don't really know the extent of Samantha's sensory issues, but I suspect they're not terribly serious.  However, there are triggers somewhere in her environment that cause her to shut down, to dig in her heels and withdraw from everyone (for short periods, thankfully!).  We can't quite pinpoint those triggers, and we're excited about the opportunity to investigate deeper, with the help of an expert, to figure out the triggers and to help her learn to work around them.  Like I said, they're not major, for which we feel very fortunate, and they're not constant, but they're enough that they impede certain classroom activities, preventing her from participating in groups, stopping her from enjoying an event.  As she gets older, these triggers will be more and more plentiful in the higher grades, and she's going to need to be able to cope with them.

Her current teachers, who adore her, feel a little bit sad when it comes to group work.  They know she knows the subject and material as well as the next child, but she just refuses to show the class.  They truly want her to be able to show what she can do, to shine in front of her classmates.  What's going to happen in show-and-tell?  What about when she's asked to go to the front of the class to get her work from the teacher?  Tell about her weekend?  Receive an award?   

Sammi's first appointment is next Wednesday.  It'll all begin with an evaluation, which I'm anxious to hear the results of.  Then a plan of action, which I'm anxious to get in place.  Then, hopefully, work towards progress.

Fingers crossed...

10 comments:

Jenny said...

Good luck! That's great you are off the waiting list :)

Anna said...

Your family is very blessed.
Exciting news!

Rochelle said...

Can't wait to hear how she blooms with the new OT!

Leah said...

Isn't it cool how exciting therapy can be? Excited to hear how it goes!

Anna Theurer said...

I want to steal your OT. . .we just started OT and there will not be much sensory integration with her :( Anyway, it will be interesting to see what Sammi's triggers are. Hugs!!!!

Becca said...

Oh, no, Anna T.!!!! Are there other OTs in your area that may specialize in sensory stuff? I have to say, we are really fortunate in this area - we've suburban, but off a MAJOR metropolitan area, and thre are multiple specialists for just about everything you can think of here. I'm so sorry to hear that. :-(

Alicia said...

well sound like an amazing opportunity :) good luck!!! :D

Melissa said...

yay for getting off the wait list! Hope this new OT is perfect for Sammi!

Roo's Mom said...

I think sensory issues are huge an often undetected. We spent far too much money and too much time on speech therapy for Roo because she would almost never show her SLPs the level of speech she normally produced in other environments. My regret is that I should have been spending that same money and time on more OT. Now we have private OT sessions twice a month, but I feel like we're starting back at the beginning because there is so much work to be done. She can write all her letters but doesn't prefer to do much fine motor. I know Sammi will shine and this will be a great benefit for her even if only enhancing the skills she already has. You will be happy with your decision!

Anonymous said...

What is the name of this amazing therapy place?