It was a hard day. The meeting with the occupational therapist went better than I expected, both in her attitude, and in Moose’s responsiveness, especially given that it was nap time. She does, apparently, view church as “boring”…couldn’t believe Moose would ever sit through a service, especially since we *gasp* don’t bring toys for him. Whatever–that was kind of telling, especially given her attitude about some things yesterday.
Anyway, after she did her evaluation, the two other therapists and the caseworker joined her, and went over their reports. There was nothing particularly surprising in them, but it is hard to sit there and listen to all of the ways your child is behind, to hear the words “severely delayed” in some areas, and even harder to read it in black and white after they leave. It was made even worse by the way they chose to seat themselves at my kitchen table…they all squeezed together at one end, opposite me, which left me feeling very awkward, a little defensive, and kind of attacked. I really wish Ryan could have been here, both as support, and as another set of ears and another source of judgement. But I got through it.
Overall, the recommendation is three hours of therapy in the home per week. Two speech, one occupational. They also recommended a playgroup which we probably won’t be going to, some diagnostic testing (which could involve MRIs, genetic testing, and the requisite parent interview and observation of the child) which I guess we’ll do, but I’m not sure how I feel about, and then some really weird stuff. A pressure vest to make him feel hugged, since he likes sensory stimulation (why can’t I just hug him?), a trampoline to bounce on…now, I’m with this kid 26 hours a day (and if anyone besides my nerdy husband catches that reference, you have my undying admiration!) and let me tell you, he doesn’t need to bounce more! Basically, they thought he would benefit from some “adaptive devices”, which I thought was a bunch of baloney, but ended up being a moot point, because E.I. only covers those through 33 months, which he will be in a few weeks. Fine by me.
So, we’ll start the therapy whenever they can schedule two people to come out here, (not sure how long that wait will be–hopefully not too bad, since we’ve only got about three months left) and we’ll get a hearing test done just to make sure there’s no weird problem there. I’m not sure that I want to “transition” him to the school system once he turns three–1.) I’m not a huge fan of preschool, and B.) I really don’t want him labeled as special ed this young, which he would be.
Frankly, I have some pretty strong opinions about this early intervention/sensory stuff that I’m sure won’t be popular. To some extent, I really think that because our society is so conformist, and, even though people say otherwise, so unwilling to accept people that are different, that we have to put a label on children who are different, and try to “fix” them. That bugs me–it’s taken me almost 30 years to realize that the things that make *me* “different” from a lot of others are the things that I like best about myself, and I was hoping to spare my children some of that agony. I guess that’s just part of growing up, though One of the therapists today basically said “we want to make sure he’s just like other kids his age.” I’m not so sure that I do–I just want Moose to be Moose. Yes, I want him to talk more, and yes, I’ll do the speech and occupational therapy at least until he’s three, and see what kind of progress he’s made, but I’m not sure how much farther I want to pursue this. He’s obviously cognitively fine, which all the therapists agreed with, so maybe he just learns different, and maybe that’s OK. They pointed out how self-motivated he is, which I tend to think is fantastic, especially in a child his age, but they said it almost like it was a bad thing. I mean, I know he learns how to follow directions, but I also really admire how independent and focused and self motivated he is.
Anyway, the big things we’ll be working on (because we had to create goal statements to go into his file) are him talking to share what he’s thinking, and lengthening his attention span so he can do more focused activities. If you could pray that he accomplishes those things I’d greatly appreciate it!