Thursday, October 7, 2010

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To OT or not to OT, that is the question.

When we first began occupational therapy with early intervention for Logan, I asked Trevor to explain to me what an OT is. He laughed and said, "An OT is someone who gets to play all day!" I had to grin. In reality, though, pediatric occupational therapy which targets developmental delay and SPD is defined as follows:

Pediatric Occupational Therapy is the use of a child's occupations (play, school, home) to focus on how the child is functioning and developing their environments. When there is a delay in skills, poor attention, motor impairments, or other problems, OT can help a child gain greater independence in all areas of life through therapy.

Occupational Therapists collaborate closely with parents, Speech and Language Pathologists, Physical Therapists, and Teachers in order to effectively promote independent and successful performance. 

I was continually amazed at the things our OT did with Logan, and how much Logan enjoyed them. The man taught Logan "pinch" by using play dough.  OK, I admit that Logan hollers "Pits!! Pits!!" at the top of his lungs, and gooses anyone he can find now, but keeps life interesting at the Monster House. And, Logan is pinching, a fine motor skill he did not have until Trevor played with him.

When Logan started toe walking, I was distressed and had a little come apart until our fabulously well behaved and calm OT told me to knock it off. Turns out, Logan liked the sensation of the carpet between his toes. Who knew? The OT did.... but I was busy being a helicopter mom again and didn't pay attention to Trevor. ( Remember the whole dressing down I got when I over saturated myself in research....and I completely deserved it.)

It was interesting to me how much information Trevor was able to get about Logan just by watching him color or showing him how to string large wooden beads on a shoelace.or fuzzy pipe cleaner. We are floundering a bit now, waiting for another OT to be hired by early intervention. 

It took a long while for me to understand the references to fine motor skills versus gross motor skills, and to realize what was meant when someone said "proprioceptive". I have learned, however, in this time without Trevor or any other OT how very important it is to Logan's continued care. 

I watched Logan scale our entertainment center tonight, wearing a black Halloween cape and a diaper and squealing, "See! See!" Six months ago that would have never happened. This ties in a little bit to Robin's guest blog (thanks Robin!) in that I am so very pleased at the amount of resources early intervention has available to them.

So, for the last few weeks I have been smacking my head against my most popular brick wall: our insurance company. They are not in the mood to provide any coverage for Logan for an OT or a PT. Partially because SPD is not recognized as a diagnosis by this incredibly huge insurance company, and partially because Logan's PT is not for recovery after an injury or procedure.

I refuse to give up hope for these therapists that Logan needs so badly. I'm reading and researching as much as I can, but I have to wonder if I'm really up to taking on the task of OT and PT without ever having been formally trained.


Karen said...

When we lived in New Hampshire, and AJ was 3, the public school system paid to have him evaluated and arranged for OT. This was part of Early Intervention and started at age 3 (as I recall). Does your state do this?

Caryn said...

They do that, yes. But because Logan is only 2, and because of his allergies and seizures, we're working with Early Intervention in our home, and they are terribly understaffed at the moment. We had attempted to get OT through insurance, also in our home, but we all know how THAT went.....

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