We 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.
Another 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!