Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Luck of the Irish

We're Irish...kinda. But everyone is Irish once a year right? This year Avi's Irish luck provided him with a lucky change.

A few months ago Avi's occupational therapist (OT) told Debbie that she didn't think she (the OT) was helping Avi and she didn't think she should see him anymore. She gave a referral and wished us luck. We were pretty bugged. We have been ditched by therapists before who have said the same thing. We just wanted someone to say, I'm not sure I'm helping him, but I'm not giving up. Since that didn't happen we took her referral and met with the new OT. She was kind and was careful not to push Avi too hard too quickly. She wanted to build a good rapport with him. She also wanted to know where he was and what we wanted him to get out of the sessions. Once she got a good feel for his situation she was off and running. She decided to use tokens so Avi would know how many tasks he has to complete, i.e. puzzle pieces he had to place, things he had to count, etc) he wasn't exactly excited about it at first.

She said she really wanted to find out what would get him most regulated because she believed that he could do any of the tasks once his sensory needs were met. She tried a few different things. Swings, ball pits, slides whatever she could think of. Her efforts were met with little success at first. Finally she pulled out the layered Lycra swing. At first he was going wild, loving the feeling of being lightly squeezed in it. Then she changed his position in the swing. The change was immediate. He calmed down completely. She started swinging him in figure eights. The calm that came over him was powerful. Eventually she told him it was time to work. He sat in his desk and put the elephant toys together, tail to trunk, one at a time without any verbal or physical prompts. He even handed her the tokens. His OT said this is why helping him learn to regulate his sensory needs himself is so important. We couldn't be happier that this OT did not give up even though it wasn't easy!

So Avi is now on a "sensory diet." He has to lift heavy things, swing, get rolled, get squished, blow through a straw, or doing deep pressure exercises. So far it has really helped him. He's able to sit longer and understand our instructions better.


Valerie said...

So glad she found something that works for his needs. It sounds like she'll be great.

When I first read this part of the sentence, "A few months ago Avi's occupational therapist (OT) told Debbie that she didn't think she was helping Avi" I thought you were saying the OT said DEBBIE wasn't helping him. I was like, "WHAT?????" Sorry the OT gave up. Maybe it was for the best though since you found a great one now.

Heather and Thomas Mann said...

I am glad that you were able to find a new, great sounding, therapist. I cannot imagine how incredibly frustrating it would be to hear a therapist say they are giving up on your child. I am glad the new OT is working so well with your cute, big guy!

Steph, Bryce, Andie, and Bree said...

Good for the OT and good for Avi! People shouldn't go into those types of fields if they expect success easily and quickly... otherwise there would be no point in having them.

Us said...

Oops! Thanks Valerie! :) hopefully I made that a bit more clear. Thanks to everyone for your support!

Tiff :o) said...

Yeah for good therapists! So glad you were able to find a good one. Seems like it worked out for the best!

Diana said...

How awesome! I am so glad he is doing so well!

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