Sunday, May 4, 2014

OT continues, therapy does not

G and I met with the therapist for the last time this week, provided things continue as they are.  We can always touch base with Ms. Stacy if problems should arise.

Sometimes I wonder whether things would have gotten better on their own, over the course of 5 months, but I don't really think they would have.  I think I had long had difficulty handling him and, unfortunately, this (combined with excruciating sleep deprivation) made me develop some pretty negative feelings about him.  My patience bucket was chronically empty when it came to dealing with G.

Therapy "for G," in conjunction with his OT, has helped both of us.  If nothing else, they have been G's "special things" that he only does with me.  An expensive couple things, but whatever.  Our relationship is much improved, and I am thankful for that. The OT really has made a big difference for him, and I really don't understand it, but he is MUCH less particular about textures and his shoes being super-tight and many of those sensory issues that he whined about incessantly.

He has begun asking to try different foods (shocking) and even trying bites of things.  This week it was roast and corn.

Yes, maybe in other people's houses their kids eat roast and potatoes and corn with ease, but in my house that doesn't happen with G.  But I can see that in time it might happen on a more regular basis.  Him taking even one bite of these things willingly is a huge win.  Ms. Carolyn, his OT gal, has been working with him for weeks and weeks on grape texture.

G is still a headstrong kid, but I have learned to stay completely detached, completely unemotional when he gets on one of his kicks (which can be really hard, although it seems to get easier the more you do it).  He gets upsets, he cries a bit, but then he settles, and it is over.  My ramped up emotions only made his episodes worse.  His "work" with a therapist was really a two-for-one, because it was me learning how to manage him.  It took her to help me figure out some of the things G needed that I hadn't been providing.  It is not my natural inclination to do these things, but I have to in order to help him manage himself better.  Eventually, he will adopt these skills on his own.

I brush him every night, which sounds really weird if you've never had a kid do OT, but it is relaxing for him and is easy for me to do.  I've really had to stick to procedures/routines a lot more firmly than I used to, which doesn't come easily for me.  I'm more lamby-pamby, but G needs that strict structure so I've created charts for this and that and the other.

I decided to retry the sleeping bag next to my bed thing, which was unbelievably unsuccessful when he was 3-4 years old.  It is working quite well now, which means I am staying in my bed more and not sharing a twin mattress with a 6-year-old who has had a growth spurt.

He had a brief episode the Friday and Saturday before Easter (which immediately reminded me of Christmas 2013, the December from hell).  It was like everything we had done, as far as he has come, was temporarily undone.  The problem?  The Easter Bunny coming, and all the anxiety that goes along with holidays for G.  He was very worked about up what he would do if he got scared in the night and needed to come out of his bedroom but then the Easter Bunny would hear him.  I told him he should go to sleep in his own bed, and I would carry him to the sleeping bag by me when I went to bed.  Around 11:30, I brought him to the sleeping bag, and I didn't hear a peep from him all night.

He has been fine since then.

So we will continue with OT, paying in full once we reach the 25-26 week limit for our insurance because I cannot consider stopping if G will continue to benefit.  We finally reached our deductible so are now only paying $25 a session, which is a marvelous break from the $85 each week that we have been paying since January.  

It is nice to take joy in G most of the time now.  To be able to look past his sometimes challenging behavior and see a smart, truly funny kid who makes me laugh.  That had not been happening with any great regularity for far too long.

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