Saturday, April 8, 2017

The not doing that motivates me to do

G began occupational therapy when he was six; he is now nine-and-a-half.

He was reevaluated in December and has made significant improvements over the years, but we are in the midst of another six months to see if we can make headway in some specific areas.  With him, there is often overlap between what is sensory and what is OCD, and it is often difficult to parse out which is which.  He could take OT for the rest of his life, but it really wouldn't make a dent in what is OCD.

He is also unbelievably stubborn.  There are probably many things he can actually achieve but he just doesn't care that much to do them, and so he doesn't work very hard.

There is also the role of simple development---he might make great leaps in OT but that might have more to do with him hitting growth spurts than anything actually accomplished in OT.

Finally, there is the likelihood that some things he will never be at an appropriate age-level.  He scores lowest in terms of balance/coordination, and that has a lot to do with his vestibular system.  I am coordinated but have a shit vestibular system---I get motion sick swinging on a porch swing.  I feel pretty certain that I would fail the vestibular portion of the testing he undergoes in OT.

I'm really very done with OT.  I would have liked to quit a year ago.  Every week for three-and-a-half years is a long time.  Paying $85 a week for three-and-a-half years is a lot of money (let's go low and say $10,000).

I have refused to quit, though, because I have watched other parents quit intervention for their children and pay what I think is a heavy price.

I know of parents who stopped OT because it was inconvenient---which it totally is.
I know of parents who stopped intervention because one parent was on board and the other parent didn't think their kid had a "real" problem.
I know of parents who blamed the school system and moved to other counties for a different school system, and yet the child and her problems remained the same.

Over time, the child's situation usually worsens without intervention. Parents are often very poor judges of whether their kid is "normal" or not.  Some err on the side of "my kid is definitely not normal" (this is where I land) and fail to realize how normal their child actually is.  Some err on the side of "my kid is normal" and fail to realize how abnormal their child actually is.  Parents really want to believe that a lot of things are "just a stage" and will resolve on their own.

G's issues are, in the great realm of things, really mild.  Friends who don't know he does OT are often surprised when I say he does OT and has sensory issues.  He is friendly and well-mannered and plays nicely with their kids and doesn't give off glaringly "odd-ball" behaviors.

There are other families whose children have much more severe issues, who have spent far more time and far more money, in helping their children.  This is not my pity party. Those other families are tired of everything related to OT and intervention that I am tired of.

But it is the situations I've seen in which intervention stopped that have motivated me the most to just suck it up and keep going until the professionals tell me we've reached a good stopping point.

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