"I love you and want for you all things that make you happiest; and I guess you, not I, are the one who knows best what those things are."

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Speech, OT, BT, DT, PT–Can you keep it all straight?

John’s therapies have been moving along just swimmingly.  At times I feel like our house is the Grand Central Station for all local therapists though.  Not that I would change that – I want John to get whatever help he needs so that he can start school on an even keel with his classmates.

It’s been an uphill battle with his speech in particular, but he’s finely making some real progress.  He can put together 2 words pretty consistently and periodically surprises us with a 3 or 4 word combination.  Right now the biggest concern is that his errors seem very inconsistent.  (He’ll get a word or sound right one second, then completely wrong the next).  And unlike most almost-3-year-olds, he doesn’t have a “common” set of errors (i.e., always using an “f” sound in place of “tr”).  These are all textbook apraxia issues and ones that we’re hopeful we can work through before Kindergarten.

As for OT – well, were keeping on.  His grasping skills are still a little weak and his wrist tires pretty easily.  But he has (finally!) mastered his pincer grasp and can button a shirt, unzip a jacket and tolerate a little bit of messy play.  He seems to continue to struggle with loud environments, slimy or sticky anything, and some textures of food.  He’s also gotten his net swing that fits in out kitchen doorway.  He’s absolutely loving it!  And as a bonus, it came with a trapeze bar that’s providing a totally different type of input for his shoulders, arms, wrists and hands!

As for his behavioral therapy – he’s definitely making progress.  Two weeks ago he went for 15 minutes in the YMCA Child Care Room before he started crying.  I know that’s not very long, but it’s progress.  And no, he didn’t engage in play during those 15 minutes; he stood at the window, holding his timer and waiting for someone he knew to come back.  However, since he normally starts crying the second we walk in there and they come get me from the gym about 7 minutes in because he’s on the verge of hyperventilating…15 minutes seems like eternity!  Not to mention that I’ve enjoyed getting an hour to workout every other week while his BT works with him in the daycare Smile

Development therapy is what it is.  John really doesn’t have any delayed concept skills – but the DT has been working with John in many crossover areas (sensory play, social situations, encouraging speech).

And our newest development comes in PT.  In the next few weeks we’ll have a PT evaluation for John.  With his low muscle tone it’s been brought to our attention that his feet are really really flat and that it’s causing his ankles to turn inward a little.  While he’s not behind on his gross motor skills because of this – the therapists feel it’s important enough to get checked out so that we don’t run into long term problems later in life.  So we’ll see what the final evaluation says, but I’m guessing there are some arch supports in John’s near future. 

In the meantime, we’re in the process of transitioning out of Early Intervention.  At that point we’ll be handed over to the Collinsville School District Special Education Office.  We’ve already got John set up for an Early Childhood Screening on Sept. 2nd.  From there we’ll be able to gauge whether or not he’ll be eligible for services under their guidelines (which are, of course, different from the EI guidelines).  Otherwise, we’ll be on our own to provide John with any therapies he needs through our health insurance and our pocketbook. 

Here’s to hoping he qualifies for the services we know he needs!


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  2. I know that feeling. While my daughter only had 3 therapies until she was three and only two now. From two-three she had speech therapy, occupational therapy and play therapy. Play therapy was ended at age 3. We have been blessed as our insurance refused to cover any autism related services (claiming autism is an "educational issue" not a neurological disorder, our state legislature is currently trying to pass a law requiring its coverage). That we qualified for state aid for all of it! Once she turned 3, the school system took over for the early childhood services department and sent her to a special preschool where she had normally developing peers and other developmentally delayed children in her classroom. This fall she starts kindergarten in a classroom with all autistic children, which is what she needs, but it's always something. Deciding which kindergarten field trips she will go on, having her ride the bus (which is liberating for me and terrifying at the same time, the good news, in our school system the bus drivers are the teacher assistants and she will have all special needs assistants on her bus), will we or won't we try to get authorization for outside of school additional therapy...will keep you guys in prayer especially where qualifying for services in concerned! ~Kristen @ St Monica's Bridge