Monday, April 16, 2007

OT Round 6

…in which I grudgingly give some props to Zane’s occupational therapist.

So last week, I was so frustrated by Zane’s OT appointment (and so overwhelmed by work) that I couldn’t post about it. I was on the verge of giving OT Lady – for whom I must designate some type of name - the old heave-ho. But I didn’t.

And today, I actually need to give her some credit for a job well done.

The good time (for me) began prior to his appointment - in the waiting room. There were several other moms there, and they were actually pretty cool. And don’t let me skew you, I’m sure that almost every time we’re there, most of the mothers are wonderful and friendly, but I am almost always uninterested.

It’s not that I dislike people. I just like whatever I’m reading better.
(I’ve mentioned that I’m struggling a bit with this OT thing, right?)

Ahem…but today the other moms were so doggone friendly, that I couldn’t not talk to them. And while some of the things they said scared me, like “we’ve implemented a face-washing program” and “he will have his IEP re-evaluated next month”, I felt that there was definitely some instant camaraderie in the room, and I felt myself losing some of the tension that typically characterizes my time there.

They said that Zane was cute. Zane and I agreed. Me with a “thank you”. Zane with an “I is.” They talked about how they wished they had gotten their kids into OT as early as Zane. I shrugged and said we hoped it would be helpful. They handled their kids gracefully, and I didn’t see any judgment toward each other when various kid-acting-out behavior occurred.

Then the OT Lady came to get Zane. And Zane cried, of course. He grabbed a hold of my neck and called for me when they took him down the hall. I was not heartbroken, just irritated. I was prepared for this. After all, Zane typically has no trouble leaving me at all, but I knew he was going to fight it this week.

Because last week, without giving us any warning, OT Lady told us that she would be seeing Zane alone from now on - which is completely fine. I understand that kids may act differently around their parents that it might be easier to get him to “work” if he doesn’t have an attentive mama-audience.

What is not okay is that she didn’t give Zane – or me – any warning. And let’s be clear, Zane needed warning. Hence, I needed a “heads up” that he was going to be doing therapy solo so that I could help him prepare for it. Zane does just fine with change – when he knows about it before hand. It’s not like he needs a lot of prep, but we do make it a habit to tell him what to expect at new places and situations.

Therefore, last week I knew that the “shock” of going with OT Lady on his own had left him pretty compliant, but I knew that this week would be a struggle.

And I’m just saying, OT Lady has referred several times to how “rigid” Zane is – he likes to do things in a certain order, for example – so I’d have thought she might have mentioned to him that things were going to change the next time she saw him. It seems like common sense that if you have a kid who is challenged by transition and change that you give him ample warning of changes to occur. But I didn’t say too much about it last week. I just knew that this week would be harder.

(My kid likes a routine. There’s nothing wrong with that. I myself am quite into predictability and routine. I’m the woman who thinks that lather, rinse, repeat is clear, concise, and helpful.)

But I digress…when I went back to see what Zane had done – after he fell into my arms with relief- Zane showed me a train picture he had colored, a train track he had cut, and some pieces of track that he had glued together.

Right on, OT Lady. If anything will motivate my son to perform, it’s playing with trains in any form – coloring, gluing, or cutting. Well done.

It was also just very thrilling for me. Zane has always been very resistant to coloring at home, although he likes to watch SRH and I color. (He bosses us around and tells us where to put which color. It’s charming.) But we have noticed in the past two weeks that he has been playing with his markers much more.

He also was able to hold the scissors much better today than he was even last week, and he was very proud of himself for it. He glued some pieces of track together while I was talking to OT Lady, and it all just felt really nice.

I can actually see a difference in his fine motor skills in this short period of time – which is really great!

Then she gave me several tips for things we can work on at home which were practical and easy to implement. Oh geez, lady, be careful. I might actually be impressed with this whole OT process.

Just as I was warming up a bit to the process, you know acknowledging that this might be helpful for Zane; I had to tell her that Zane wouldn’t be attending their preschool this summer. Our insurance won’t pay for any group therapy.

So she says, “Well, that’s really too bad. I mean, he has such difficulty separating from you. It would be good practice for him to spend some time with other kids on his own. It might help him from being so dependent on you.”

Oh no she didn’t…


Anonymous said...

and i was all ready to compliment her until she made that last comment. too dependent? um, he's 3. duh. at least she caught on about the trains (since that is such a secret and all). ha. -m

Zany Mama said...

and she totally set him up! He would have been fine with some warning, but noooooo.

She is my official nemisis. My nemesis who is moderately helpful with my child.

Sue said...

She's too much. She would LOVE to see Kayla. She would probably permanently attach herself to my hip if I let her. Sometimes she acts like she's NEVER been without me. What Toddler/Preschooler deals with change w/o warning very well?

I'm glad though that he's shown some improvements. At least she's doing something right.

SRH said...

She better start being more than moderately helpful to our child if she continues to desire our insurance money. My patience with this O-Therapist and her ever changing opinions is getting less than thin.

John P. said...

Great "staying in touch" through yours and SRH's blogs. Sounds like things are going well. Don't know how else to get in touch but e-mail me if you can. I think SRH server may be blocking me. Totally off topic comment but cheers.

zulhai said...

I'm guessing that 1) the OT does not yet actually have any children of her own, and 2) she hasn't been an OT very long. Any preschool teacher will tell you how difficult "transition time" is, even with warning.

Thea said...

Uh-oh! Sounds like SRH is about ready to open a can of whoop-ass. Ha. That was fun to say...

She sounds unbelievably condescending. Can you ask her to her face for another OT referral?

belsum said...

Ouch. Well, just remember the good parts, right?

Beck said...

My daughter had a speech therapist who was obviously very ambivalent about me being there - The Girl would only do her speech therapy if I was in the room, so I had to be there but parents generally weren't.

Anonymous said...

Your OT and my OT should have lunch. But if they discuss our personal details with each other, I'll sue their asses.

Zany Mama said...

Yes, I do believe that all toddlers/preschoolers struggle with transitions. It does seem to be a clear issue for all of them at this stage of development, which makes it all the more perplexing that she is such a cow about it.

(Oops, that last was a thought that was supposed to stay inside my head. But now that I've written it down, I feel a bit better. I'm not proud of myself right now.)

This is the reason that I will continue to take him to appts. instead of you - you have a bit of the papa bear thing going on with your boy.

I find it kind of hot.

Oh my goodness! So fabulous to hear from you - I don't care if it's off topic or not.

Will email you shortly.

I believe that you are correct on both 1 and 2. That's the reason I have resisted naming her as nemesis. She seems kind of like an unworthy foe.

Yeah, apparently SRH is a bit upset by it all. :)

Also, if I weren't quite sure that we will be changing insurances (and hence OTs) in the near future, I would absolutely ask for another one.

I'm trying. But you know what a pessimist I am. :)

Thanks for stopping by! You will find this blog to be insightful, socially relevant, and profound. But don't blink because you might miss it.

p.s. I love your avatar - brilliant.

Maybe they, too, have cosmic twin action. Lucky us.

Bon said...

i can see where your resistance has been coming from...her last comment seems a bit a-contextual, given that he had no warning about the change and stuff.

but i'm glad your nemesis is proving at least a bit helpful to Zane. weird the things we put up with for our kids, and on their behalfs.

lsig said...

Dude! You got Doctor John to comment! (Waves hello!)

Anonymous said...

Ya, great tactic to convince you to "damn the insurance man" and sign Zane up for summer school anyway...NOT.

And she was doing so well with the trains too. Some people just need to constantly shoot themselves in the foot.

Karen said...

no way in hell could she possibly have kids with THAT last statement. she's a winner.