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OT: Do you stay with child or not?

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My DS starts OT tomorrow and I have the option of going back to the room with him or staying in the waiting room.


I told DH that I was on the fence. On one hand, I would like to go back, especially the first few times. On the other hand, I think DS might do better w/o me in the room with him. DH said he was on the same fence and was already thinking the same thing, wondering what I would do.


DS is almost 11 and has no issues with being separated. However, during the evaluation, he tended to look over at me when unsure of something. (Ex: Therapist asked DS if he wanted to jump on the trampoline during the eval. DS asked me if it was okay. :tongue_smilie: He is timid about doing new things, but normally not to that extent.)


OT is for penmanship issues and sensory processing issues, if that matters.


I was wondering what others do? :bigear:


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Well I would go back unless the therapist feels it's actually hindering him from focusing on the task at hand. When my dd did OT, I took notes the entire time so I could carry things over at home. You'll learn a lot more if you go in with him. Some kids don't do as well with Mom in the room, so then you shouldn't be there. We've actually just stopped having me in the room for ds's speech therapy, because we finally concluded he was playing a mental game (cry to get out of it) and that when I wasn't there he did better. But no, if you can be there without being disruptive, you'll learn quite a bit.

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Thank you very much for the reply.

That is what I was leaning toward.

They said they will make up a packet of stuff for us to work on at home, but I (the homeschooler in me :lol:) want to learn as much about this as I can so I can add it into our home/school. I thought I would learn more if I was in the room with him, instead of just taking the packet.

I think DS will be fine with me in the room for penmanship. Sensory stuff, I can see him being a bit 'weird' about me being in there. (He is getting to that stage...)

DS had speech therapy many years ago and I always felt that he was playing on my emotions during the sessions. :glare: I think I will plan on going back tomorrow and seeing how it goes.

I am so nervous/anxious about the therapy and don't know what to expect.

When we were in the waiting room for the eval, none of the parents went back. I was a bit shocked by that. But I overheard the receptionist training a new employee and telling her that they are not babysitting services and how they have been having a hard time with people leaving the property, then not coming back for 15-30 minutes after the therapy session ended. :001_huh: While I certainly would not do that, I also didn't know if I would come across as a controlling or helicopter mom by going back, when it didn't seem to be the norm.

Thanks again! (Sorry, I am rambling. Nerves.)

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Have you asked the OT what she/he prefers or recommends?


Personally, I started speech sessions with my son, as the SP said she likes a parent to attend so we can fully understand what she's doing with him. But after a few sessions I said I thought he'd work better without me there, and could she brief me at the end of each session. After one trial of this, she agreed that the new arrangement was better after all.


So yeah, I'd start with whatever you, your child and the OT think will work best, but don't hesitate to change the arrangement if you don't think it's working out.

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I would definitely go back unless your being there becomes an issue. It would be hard to understand OT without seeing it, and, IMHO, it woud be hard to get improvement from OT without implementing it at home and to do that you do really need to see it in action.


You may have a great experience and want to continue forever, or, after a while, you may think, I can do this myself. ;)

Edited by NJKelli
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Go with him but pretend to read a book so that when he looks at you for reassurance/answers, you're occupied. That way, you'll get the benefit of seeing what is going on. I found that sitting in on my children's OT sessions to be very interesting. It is also helpful to see what the OT is doing with the child for when you do OT homework the rest of the week.

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Thanks for the advice. :001_smile:


The therapist doing the OT is different from the one that did the eval last week and we had not met her prior to our session today. She came out to the lobby to greet us and said, "I come across as gruff, but I'm just no-nonsense. I expect my clients to work hard." :001_huh: I was shaking in my shoes at that point. I went back with DS, as the therapist said she wanted to talk with me and had some questions about expectations and all. One of the first questions, asked rather abruptly, was "You homeschool? Is that why he isn't in school?" I was very nervous about answering, as she sounded so short and - well, gruff! But I managed to squeak out a "Yes, Ma'am." She said, "Good. That means you need to be back here so you can take notes during the session and you will have time to work his therapies into his school day."


By the end of the session, I was more comfortable with her. Her personality will actually work well with my son, I think. I was so glad that she said I 'needed' to go on back, as I was worried I would come across as overbearing by wanting to go back when I have not seen any other parents go back with their children.



I will probably be full of questions as we embark on this OT journey. Right now my head is swimming. :tongue_smilie:

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Well, last week the OT said she wanted me to go back.

Today? She met me in the lobby and told me I could come back and view for the last few minutes only, as parents aren't allowed back. :glare: I was not pleased. (Though I will admit I found it odd last week that I was allowed in the gym while other patients were back there.)

Then I was trying to tell her that one of the activities last week made my son physically ill. (It was a spinning activity.) She asked if I had him do the activity at home. I said no, as she said it was optional (as I had written down and she agreed she did say) and it made him sick. She told me I still needed to have him do it daily. (Um. Then that isn't optional.)


I'm frustrated!


Dx of sensory processing issues, vision issues and physical issue w/DS's hand.


We knew he has sensory issues, but still not sure it warrants therapy.

We suspected he had vision issues, but pediatrician and eye doctor says vision therapy is bogus. That's fine, but I do think DS needs vision therapy.


The physical issue with DS's hand... Pediatrician still hasn't called me back to talk about it, despite me calling his office for a week now. We tried for three years after birth to get answers about this hand, but no doctor wanted to address it so here we are, 'second verse, same as the first.'

OT - in eval and first appointment - said DS will never be able to write fluently and just to stop trying to have him write. (His hand can't do the mechanics of writing fluently, they are saying.) I have spent six years working on penmanship. I can't see just 'giving up.' (Though I will admit, we haven't gotten anywhere in six years! He can write the letters no problem, but the letters are jerky and it is painful for him to write. His output clearly doesn't match his effort. Someone less stubborn that I probably would have given up long ago. :tongue_smilie:)

So we sought OT for penmanship and they aren't working on penmanship. :confused:


Y'all are very aware of the price of eval and therapy w/o insurance.

I can't see ditching this place (a large hospital) after one eval and two therapy sessions. I need to give them a chance. But I'm not happy they can so easily write off penmanship like that.

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Suzanne, can we back up and ask a few questions? If you've already shared this, I missed it, sorry. Has he had a neuropsych eval? Just asking, because I was wondering if he would get a dysgraphia diagnosis. Our np looked at motor control in writing. And when the OT did the eval, what did she *find* besides sensory? What was the explanation for the handwriting problems? Low tone? Praxis (motor control) issues? Something else?


OT for penmanship doesn't necessarily involve working on penmanship. They might need to work on tone, sensory (in the fingers), rhythm, motor control, bilaterality, weight-shifting, etc. first. It depends on what the issue is. I'd be more concerned about whether she adequately explained it. Sometimes therapists kind of get a god complex (I have a masters; you are ignorant and incapable.) and they don't want to explain anything. It also isn't in their financial interest to explain anything or actually help you. Sorry, but I've gotten pretty cynical about the process.


As far as the VT, well I wouldn't expect accurate advice from the ped or a regular optometrist. It's just not their thing even to know. That's like asking your car mechanic how to fix a plane. It's still fixing something, but it's a different thing.


Ok, this OT decided after the eval that his handwriting is HOPELESS, and you're going ahead with her anyway? And the same woman is willing to spin him every day till he's SICK and that's not a radar signal going BLEEP, BLEEP really loud to you??? One, when a therapist says *can't*, it really means *I can't*. Therapists are not all equal. Our therapist was *dead set* against clients getting sick during vestibular input. I'm shocked that she's telling you to push it like that. Maybe someone else here had a different experience? Do some research or start a thread. I'm just saying our therapist was adamantly opposed to that. I had been trying some things with dd, and when she found out it had made her feel a certain way, the therapist got all huffy (god complex, remember), and pointed out that ignorant idiots like me could cause seizures and all sorts of problems and make her very sick by doing that, not to do that, leave it to the experts, blah blah. When she worked with dd, she would push it *right up* to where she just started to look uncomfortable, then she would take her off and do some things pushing on her head to reground her and kick in everything and get it to calm down. Sick was never acceptable.


If she's saying from day 1 she can't help with the handwriting, has she even explained why it's happening? You need the right terms. That's the point of the diagnosis. Then you start googling and find someone else with more experience or another therapy or another method. The magic is not in walking through the door and plunking out $100 an hour. The magic is in finding the person who knows how to get in your kid's head and do some rewiring and connection-building. Maybe he never will be able to write comfortably, don't know. My dd's writing has gotten ugly as sin over the last few years. Jerky, yes. It's odd though, because she's still using it. I don't know if that makes sense, but if he can get to the point where his writing is *comfortable* (as in not painful), then it's at least functional for his *own* purposes. She has been writing this LotR fan fiction story in one of those small spiral notebooks (4X6 maybe?), and she actually filled 17 pages! It took OT, etc. etc. just to get her to where she could write *comfortably*. So she asked if I wanted to look at it, thinking it would be hilarious for me to interpret her hen scratch. It was actually fascinating to me, because with the tiny lines and the way she leaves out letters (so her hand can keep up with her brain I think), it's actually legible, in a strange sort of way. It would be a dreadful problem on a college essay exam, but it's at least functional for her own purposes.


So I have no clue where that's going. Might give you some ideas to sort out. I'd love to get her writing pretty and socially acceptable. If I can't get that, I'd like the motor control automatic enough that it's not eating up her working memory. If I can't get that, I'm happy that she's at least to where she can physically write it on paper without crying that her hand hurts and that it's legible enough (to her) to be useful. The dropped letters and invented spelling thing, that surprised me. She said she was using it to make the writing go faster. Otherwise her hand can't keep up. Maybe your boy will find some of his own solutions too with time. This is a pretty recent development. I don't know your boy's age. My dd is 13.

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If she's saying from day 1 she can't help with the handwriting, has she even explained why it's happening? You need the right terms.

I have been hesitant to share too much on a public board, but - Yes, I know and understand what she is suspecting and why she wants us to go back to our pediatrician.


DS hasn't had a neuro eval, that is what I need to talk with our pediatrician about. OT thinks he has a neuro issue, possibly stemming from his birth. He had a tic in that hand - don't know when it started as he was in NICU and had that arm tied down for IVs for a few weeks, but we noticed it shortly after IVs came out. He was a preemie and had four surgeries before age four, so saw a lot of doctors/specialists during that time. Every single doctor mentioned the tics, but would tell us to talk to our ped. Ped kept saying DS would grow out of them. I don't remember when and don't have it written down, but probably around age 3-4 our ped declared them gone. Now OT is saying he still has that tic but is hiding it. (He moves his fingers/hand constantly. We thought it was a sensory/ADD issue, not a neuro issue.) She is saying the tic won't go away, therefore he will never be able to steady his hand/arm to write fluently. I can't process that at all. I just feel like I was kicked in the gut. DH and I have always known there was a high possibly that something neuro had happened to DS during birth, but I never associated his writing issues with that.

We have a new pediatrician now and he has DS's medical records, but did not treat him during the early years.


Ok, this OT decided after the eval that his handwriting is HOPELESS, and you're going ahead with her anyway? And the same woman is willing to spin him every day till he's SICK and that's not a radar signal going BLEEP, BLEEP really loud to you???
I have major alarm bells going off and came home from OT crying, sick to my stomach over this. I just don't know what to do. We can't pay for a second eval at another place. I thought going through a reputable hospital would be a safe option. We don't have another session for a week and a half, so I am hoping to figure this out by then.


Thank you so much for your reply.

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Most therapist have plans made before they come into a session. What you might do is call and talk it through with her. Just tell her your concerns. On the tic thing, if that's what she found, that's what she found. She has no motivation to lie or be less than clear on something like that. I would ask her what your next move is with that information. Is it learning proper accommodations and getting the neuropsych eval in place to start to get the ball rolling on that? Obviously there are lots of ways writing is used, and some of those are going to need accommodations. It's hard enough even without some added physical challenges.


Were you the one asking on the general board about ipad vs. laptop? Dd and I were looking today at some of the dictation software like Dragon dictate and Dragon naturally speaking. I haven't actually figured out the differences between them. I would do some talking with your OT about what's really realistic, what accommodations you should pursue. You don't want to undercut whatever progress he *can* make, but he might as well get good at using the accommodations. My dd has all that stuff she handwrote, and now to type it seems overwhelming. She wants to use dictation software for that. My dh has tried dictation software in the past. With devices getting Siri, etc., I think this is becoming more common. I'm not really sure what Siri can do as far as voice control, like whether it can help you compose. Siri has to be online, and Dragon is self-contained in the software.


It sounds like you're going through a bit of shock yourself. To have the ped declare it gone and this new OT say it wasn't really, that's a big rug to get pulled. I guess pick up the pieces and move forward. Ask her what to do with that information. :grouphug:

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I would ask her what your next move is with that information. Is it learning proper accommodations and getting the neuropsych eval in place to start to get the ball rolling on that? Obviously there are lots of ways writing is used, and some of those are going to need accommodations. It's hard enough even without some added physical challenges.


Were you the one asking on the general board about ipad vs. laptop?

Yes, I was the one asking about ipad vs. netbook. (I just noticed more people replied, need to get back to that post tomorrow.)

OT said 1.) she doesn't want him writing much because she wants him working on other things right now and 2.) it will be better for him to go ahead and move all his school work to the computer as he will never be able to write fluently to keep up with school.

But we really don't have school work that can be "moved to a computer." I'm trying to sort through that. We did make great progress with typing over the weekend, which will be our first goal.

We use a limited amount of tech at our house, so I am not familiar with what is out there - either gadget or software. I was just at a big homeschool convention and totally skipped over the booths selling computer-based programs. :tongue_smilie:

She wants pediatrician to give us a referral for neuro testing, but I can't get ped to return my phone calls. I think the ped is waiting for the formal report to be sent to his office, but I think we can get moving w/o the formal report.

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Ok, moved to computer doesn't necessarily mean the *curriculum* has to be on the computer. Just the output that way would help immensely. So he can do WWS (as an example) if you get him dictation software. More than one way to skin a cat. For math, we do TT (on the computer obviously) and BJU (orally, with me writing on the whiteboard, her tapping keys on her calculator). It doesn't sound like an ipad is going to get you to where you need to be. You need an actual computer for him, a computer with a cd-rom drive so he can use curriculum that comes that way like TT.


Well hopefully you get that referral soon! Maybe by Christmas you'll have a lot of this sorted out. It's something to look forward to. :)

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