Tuesday, June 6, 2017

OT free

After 3.5 years of once-a-week occupational therapy and probably close to $10,000 in cost, G has been released from care.

G and Miss Jenny, his OT

When we began his OT, he didn't yet have an OCD diagnosis so we were dealing with a lot of unknowns without any tools to help him. I didn't understand how one issue fed into the other and how difficult it would be to understand, at times, what was sensory/balance and what was OCD/anxiety. That continues to be a challenge.

I stuck with OT every week and doing the at-home assignments as much for myself as for G. Of course, it was always for his benefit, but I didn't (and don't) want to ever look back and think to myself, "I let x, y and z go. Maybe if I had stuck with them longer, he would...."

I haven't gleaned as much wisdom in 43 years as I would like, but I have learned that I don't regret anything I did although I do regret not doing things. When it comes to G, or any of my kids, I don't want to think that I didn't do everything I could, in the way of professionally-recommended things, to help them.

That is a funny line....the professionally-recommended things, but there is a very big difference between a parent doing "everything they could for a child" and doing "everything that is professionally recommended for a child."

Sometimes doing what you think is best for the child is actually not in the child's best interests. Sometimes, with a parental bias, it is difficult to parse out what is best for the child and what is best for the parent. There is a lot of ego involved in parenting. I know all too many people whose children's physicians or counselors or teachers or administrators recommended counseling or some kind of therapy and whose pleas fall on deaf ears. I get why this happens, but I also don't get it, especially when a parent simply cannot admit that their child has a problem.

OT was a headache for me, for us, in all kinds of ways. Driving to and from. Scheduling every week around his appointment. Taking him out of class. Paying all that money.

But the alternative of not doing it, of not following through, was not and is not acceptable to me.

For my own piece of mind, I need to know that I tried.

And I did try, and I did what needed to be done based on my own feeling and the professional recommendations of others who have far more knowledge than me and a larger frame of reference of what is "normal" behavior for children.

So G's "graduation" is, of course, a celebration of the work he has done in OT, an acknowledgment of how much he has improved for the better. We are proud of him and were happy to get him a cookie cake when we asked what he'd like to do to celebrate and he asked for this pretty simple thing.

But his "graduation" is also a celebration of what I have done, and what we have done, to help him.
An acknowledgment that from speech to OT to psychiatric evaluations to medication management appointments, we have done our best to use expert guidance to help us guide G to be his best self.

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