Sunday, January 1, 2017

Finding the Right Balance During 2017

My kiddo has been in therapy for his entire life. If there is a therapy out there, we have probably done it. My little guy spent multiple years doing speech therapy and occupational therapy in the school district in addition to the two times weekly private services for both speech and occupational therapy. We also did ABA, music therapy, and physical therapy. When you add in school, my little guy had little time for anything outside of his busy therapy schedule. I am a huge advocate for early intervention. I believe that my kiddo needed this type of schedule for a number of years. The question is, does he still need a demanding schedule and how do we find a balance in 2017?
My little guy was recently exited from private occupational therapy. His therapist believed that my kiddo was at a place that he really needed to be doing things besides therapy such as Boy Scouts and sports. When he was exited, she did note that it would be important for him to be continually monitored with the possibility of looking at integrating summer sessions. My child does still receive OT in the school district. Hand writing is still difficult, but handwriting is difficult for most children on the spectrum, and I really needed to decide if this one area was enough of a reason to keep him in OT. Ultimately, we decided that it would be in my little guy's best interest do have the opportunity to do other things with his afternoons. He is currently a Cub Scout. He absolutely loves being a scout!

Making a decision with speech therapy has not been as easy. My kiddo is completely verbal and he has reached a place where therapy sessions have become increasingly difficult. In addition, therapy sessions require increased focus. I had the opportunity to watch him be reevaluated a couple of weeks ago. He completely bombed this test. His scores ended up reflected a HUGE delay, because he did not try at all for the majority of the test. The beginning of the test started out with some rather difficult questions and I believe that it just put my child in a place where he just randomly guessed to get the test over with. He was not focused and obviously irritated. I knew that he knew the majority of the answers, but he just threw up his fingers to answer and he did not stop and listen to the entirety of every question that was asked. The test was obviously frustrating for him and it was extremely frustrating for me to have to watch. It was obviously not fun for his speech therapist either. She is absolutely wonderful, and it has been hard for her to find exactly what this kiddo needs.

After the evaluation concluded, I had the opportunity to do some reflecting about speech. My kiddo's speech therapist in the school district has not indicated any difficulty at all with my kiddo. She actually indicated the my little guy was a peer model and that he consistently performed well during his group speech therapy services. This made me ponder whether or not doing his private speech sessions in a group session may be better suited for my kiddo. Two weeks ago, I also had the pleasure of attempting to game plan with my child's speech language pathologist. We ultimately decided to end up trying services with a new therapist within the facility. My little guy has been receiving services for so many years and he is really kind of therapized. We see him revert back to learned behavior when things get hard rather than persevering and working hard to overcome challenges. This is not seen in group sessions, because my little guy is at a place where he really wants to make friends and fit in. This situation has really made me begin to ponder on what services does my child need to be successful? The answer is not as clear cut as it used to be.

My goal in the coming weeks is to really try and find the right balance for my child. I want to give him what he needs to be successful... I want to find the right balance... I want my child to find continued success in 2017. Decisions can be difficult and I am hoping and praying that things will become clearer in the weeks to come.

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