Another Occupational Therapy Evaluation In The Books

e80a991c805f668fe5f842de9eae7ce5We had Cooper’s Occupational Therapy Evaluation yesterday morning. I am wearing my new positive hat (AKA…The ‘I am going to positive if it freaking kills me’ hat) and there were many ‘good’ things that came from the evaluation.

First, this lady is A-MAZ-ING! If you could pick the exact person you would want to work with your child it would be this woman. She is patient and sweet and knew exactly how to work with Cooper. We have had people in the past that didn’t know how to handle him so this is great. I feel like we found the right place and the right person. This is a victory.

Second, Cooper participated and was engaged with her. We had this exact same evaluation over a year ago at a different location and Cooper wouldn’t participate at all. He would not stack blocks or color or do anything she wanted. He just ran around this room like a crazy person. And the therapist and I both chased him. It wasn’t good.

Well, yesterday, he was a little ham for most of the time. He greeted her when we arrived and gave her a big hug. Later, he did a puzzle with her, colored on paper, bounced on balls, etc. This is a victory. She was at least able to evaluate some of his skills. And, when he would get REALLY stressed out, he would go to either her or I for a hug and a tight squeeze. These are all improvements.

Okay, taking my positive hat off and putting on my “real life” glasses. I do better with these!

Cooper is so far behind. Sigh. And sigh again. Once he felt that the evaluation was ‘over’ he basically ran around the room like a lunatic. Throwing balls, knocking over chairs, etc.

The therapist was very open and honest throughout the evaluation. She saw oodles and oodles of sensory stuff. More than we ever knew about. She wants to focus on figuring out his triggers. Why does he get so stressed? Something is causing this to happen and once we figure out that we can start to build on it. She feels that his brain is so overloaded that he can’t just calm down and focus. And that is the biggest problem that we need to work on.

Per my usual, I came right out and asked what Cooper’s future looks like. Although he is only 3 years old, school is just 2 and 1/2 short years away. And this kid, as it stands, could NEVER function in a school setting. (That may be a tad bit dramatic but that is how I feel.) She told us that she feels that Cooper will be a completely different kid in a year. She kept stressing that this IS going to get better. He IS going to improve. And that felt so good to hear. We just need to be patient and work with him. And once his brain will let him relax and learn it will all come together.

We also asked her about the whole Apraxia thing even though speech isn’t necessarily her area. Cooper has a few of the Apraxic signs but not all. She felt that with Cooper’s current symptoms, his language delay could be more related to a sensory issue. She explained that making sounds with your throat gives a lot more sensory input then making noises with the front of your mouth. And Cooper ONLY makes sounds with his throat. So she was right about that one.

The therapist recommended that she see Cooper two times a week. As I mentioned in a previous post, Cooper currently goes to a speech therapist twice a week on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (on the opposite side of the world). So, on the drive home, my husband and I played the age-old game, ‘Whose job and time is more important?’ I HATE IT. Every parent out there knows exactly what I am talking about. It happens every time you have a sick kid and one of you needs to miss work.

DSC00205Another layer that makes this hard is that we don’t know if it is going to work. Will it really help? And than add the cost onto it. It’s so hard to commit to doing something that is expensive, time-consuming and brings out the worst in your child. But, we are going to do it because ultimately it will work. It will get better.

My logical and emotional sides want to give up. Actually, I’m pretty damn close. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still bring him to all of the appointments and play the part. But, my heart can’t take much more. It’s just too sad.

And a little ‘throw-back-Thursday’ picture to remind me why I don’t give up. Melt!

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7 thoughts on “Another Occupational Therapy Evaluation In The Books

  1. This is what we said about Sophie after about a year of speech and OT. “She is a totally different kid.” Your OT can say that, because she has SEEN IT HAPPEN. Trust in that. I know logistically it s-u-c-k-s but once you start seeing the rewards all that will become *less* painful. I’m excited!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 Keep it up lady!

  2. It will work. It will taket ime, but eventually you will start to see improvement.one thing to remember is that things might get worse before they get better. He will test you, his boundaries, everything. Finding his triggers is KEY!!!! If you haven’t read Out of Sync Child I would highly recommend it. Also she has a book out called THe out of sync child has fun. Great books. I would talk to your OT about helping you create a sensory diet especailly tailored to Cooper. Have you contacted your local school district to see if they run a title one preschool for Young Children With Delays. MOst do. Ask the school district if they do a Dial4 screening then they have to provide servies depending on how he scores. My kiddo scored a 0 when he was three. Tore my heart out. He started preschool at 3, went for two years and started Kindergarten. My son needs one on one and small group instruction. But I am okay with that. He is improving, learning, and finding tools to self regulate. Cooper will learn to self regulate. Have faith in the process.

    • Hi there! I will order the books today! Cooper is really, really testing us. It started 2 weeks ago. I personally think that his lack of communication is finally catching up to him. It’s like his brain is growing fast now and he can tell us what he wants. So, yes, that is a good thing but wow, is it hard. We did the whole school district thing from age 2-3 and are going to start again in the spring. I am hoping to get Cooper in a preschool this fall. I know he needs it and it will help him. I love your comments. They are so helpful. Thank you!

  3. You will be amazed a year from now. I felt so trapped when Henry was that age. We couldn’t go out in public it was horrible for all of us. Now this past weekend he competed in a TaeKwonDo tournament. I never dreamed in a million years that would happen. Just keep being an advocate for your son and you will be amazed. Is everything perfect now, NO but so much better and it seems like we can live life again.

  4. Having the right therapist makes a world of difference. Don’t give up. This quote just came to mind “”Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas A. Edison

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