Friday, July 15, 2011
Occupational Therapy at NPCC
We have waited a long year and a bit, but finally we met an amazing woman, Sally R. She will be Owen's Occupational Therapist at NPCC, and we had our first appointment last Friday, July 8th.
I really did not know what to expect walking into the appointment, all I knew OT was, was working on gross motor skills, fine motor, maybe some sensory, and helping people learn to live again. Nothing much more than that, so I was wondering what they would do for Owen. Would she understand him? Would she even understand me? I totally come off as being a momma bear, would she been mean to me if I say my opinion? I was filled with questions, but more so, filled with hope that maybe she could do something more for my guy.
Sally upon really getting to meet her at the appointment, came across as right to the point but also very loving towards Owen. She requested we both take our shoes off while we are in the therapy gym, and instructed me that every week we will take our shoes off, and Owen will sit and know what is expected of him.. I loved it. She was firm, knew what she wanted out of Owen, and he followed through to a T. She explained to me, that today was going to be a, meet and greet appointment, she wanted to follow Owen around, let me be familiar with the place, she wanted to see what drew his attention, what toys got Owen excited, and what toys calmed him down, so he was ready to work.
I took this all in, I really did not know what she was going to work on, I knew for sure Sensory would be close to number 1, but what else?
We played with Owen in the ball pit - he loved to jump in and out, have all the colourful plastic balls on top of him as a weight, then after a couple of seconds, he would jump out! This is where I really learned Owen loved weighted objects on him, it calms him. (Shout out to my mommy friend Amy for the weighted blanket, amazing!) Owen also loved to be rocked on the platform swing that was in front of the mirror, then he liked to bounce on the trampoline, step on the mushy boxes of different colours, go through the tunnel, walk in the different levels of octagons, and lastly, he liked to be placed in the barrel and rocked.
We discussed his night time routine, as one was not in place when we met in the middle of June, and I felt like an ass not having one and he was still co-sleeping. I was pleased to tell her that Owen now follows his night routine, unless daddy is home, then he wants to be with him.. she loved it!! I updated her on all things Owen, including getting a street sign on our street, as he has wandered onto the road and almost been hit! (I know!!!) getting him ready for school, he is following a picture chart for bath time that he follows now no problem, I was bragging and I loved it :)
We then discussed the worst part of having a child with Autism and textile issues, Haircuts. I said it is almost like he is pain, she agreed! and said he probably is! He has very heightened senses, and that could totally be hurting him, and of course the noise of the clippers. So, we started a brushing routine, I brush his arms, legs and back with a special brush.. he loves it. He even asks for more!! Ryan has also brushed his hair with it, no freak out! So, things are looking up!
At our following appointment this past Friday, Owen knew where we were, and was ready to rock it. This week was a bit different, we were in a new gym, but the transition was wonderful for him, no issues. He took his shoes off, and began to play on all the equipment. She said she is going to find the right time, to let him get comfortable and in the right state, to begin to request certain tasks of him. So, it took about 23 minutes before he was interested in the tasks, but he rocked them! The shape sorter - piece of cake. The putting together Mr and Mrs Potato head - a snap, did 3 out of 4 then he was done! and lastly, the coloured pegs - rocked it and sat in the same spot working on the task with the pegs for 15 minutes! amazing!
I am really loving OT appointments, no crying, all smiles and smarts! about time! :)
ps - The pictures are very close to what Owen uses. The boy on the ball, Owen was balancing like him and used those bubbles in the picture. The room with the Thomas the Train, has the equipment that Owen used, such as the colourful barrel, the tunnel, and the platform swing!!