Finding the right fit

Experience taught us to always get a second opinion. Not just for the opinion, but to find a doctor who will listen to you and work with you. But, I didn’t apply that to therapists.

For a while we received therapy from our state program, so we didn’t have a choice in therapists. Then when we recently went private, we just got the therapist assigned to us. We have now been doing speech therapy for over a year, nearly a year and a half, and have made very little progress. In fact, my little guy wouldn’t say ANYTHING during any of his 30-minute therapy sessions. But, after a quick chat with our neuro about the frustration of not having speech therapy covered by insurance, she made a call, wrote a letter and got us some coverage at the hospital’s rehabilitation center. I was appreciative, but it’s an hour drive each way, and I wasn’t sure it was going to be the best fit (being at a rehabilitation facility). But, after the initial evaluation with a pediatric speech pathologist… the same one who would actually treat my little guy, I was sold!

In one week, he has made more progress in speech than in the last year and a half… or really, since he was born. I really like that the sessions are an hour long, because he has time to warm up and work, versus just getting warmed up by the time the session is done. This therapist gets on the floor with him, she makes funny faces in the mirror with him, she crawls under the table with him, she helps him open and close doors, and she lets him run and play. He loves it. He babbles and tries to make new sounds the entire session, as well as at home! It’s AMAZING!  We have definitely found the right fit for him.

Now we’re going to get an OT and PT evaluation there.  The therapists can do a co-treat, which I’m really excited about.  We probably won’t do much PT, though.  He is taking gymnastics at a local gym, and the instructors there know his past and are doing great working with him.  He has made huge strides in his gross motor skills since starting the class.  This week, he held on to one of the parallel bars, and raised his legs to kick a stuffed monkey hanging in front of him.   He even held on to the rings, which are hard because they move independently.  These things are insignificant for most, but a big deal for him, since he really doesn’t use his hands much. It’s great therapy for a much better price tag!   😉



Feeling optimistic

We had several evaluations today. We saw a private company (rather than a state/federal funded one) for speech therapy and occupational therapy. Then we toured the autism facility where he will eventually get around 30 hours per week of communication / ABA therapy.

I don’t know why, after all our little guy had been through, but I was really dreading today. It sucks to meet someone and have them tell you where your child ranks developmentally. Especially considering how far behind our little man is in speech. I think his last evaluation, this last fall, he was ranked at just a 1-2 month level (at 18 months). But, he’s made slow and steady progress in speech. He’s still at least a year behind, but has made progress! So, that was good to hear! It also sucks to visit an autism facility and see the worst cases, not knowing what the future holds. But, I guess none of us know what the future holds. Plus, I actually liked the facility and the people, and it will be awesome to have one-on-one help geared specifically to Z.

We made it through the day, and now that it’s over, I actually feel relieved and a bit optimistic that we have a new plan. I think I tend to flounder a bit when we don’t have a plan. It still has a few kinks, it will take some time to implement, and it’s going to be expensive, but we have a plan. Phew!

Speech Therapy

We FINALLY had an appointment for speech therapy through ECI today.  Even though we have seen him progress from where he was when he was having seizures, he did not score very well.  He’s somewhere in the 3-6 month range (at 13 months).  They (ECI) finally seem to realize that they should proceed with therapy, though they made sure to note that it won’t look very scientific at this point.  It’s more like play.  But, they mentioned that sometimes kids will do better for someone who isn’t their parent.  (Boy have I learned that with a 9-year old! lol)