It feels like we’ve been waiting a year for our in-home evaluation for Occupational Therapy through the state for Parker. Really, it’s only been a month- but when you have a kid who just won’t eat.. even just a few days of waiting for help feels like an eternity.
When I saw two cars of people pull up in front of our house this morning, I actually started to panic. I thought it would be two people at MOST, but after yesterdays phonecall it sounded like it would just be one therapist. Instead it turned out to be three. Parker gets very panicked when he is the center of attention around people he doesn’t know. He’s very deeply into the “stranger danger” stage of life. I was worried we were in for a full on meltdown, and they wouldn’t be able to assess him correctly.
At first it appeared I was correct. He didn’t want to be put down, didn’t want to even sit anywhere near them. We had our case manager (who is awesome and whom I met with before), a physical therapist, and an occupational therapist for Parker’s eating- the main concern. It’s protocol to completely assess where he is as far as motor skills and problem solving, to make sure there isn’t something else going on that could be causing all of his issues.
Once Parker got comfortable, he seemed to relish the limelight. He was ALL over the place. Crawling and laughing and playing. He wouldn’t touch any of the ladies, but at least he wasn’t attached to me like flies on poop.
While the OT asked me questions about what Parker can and can’t do, does and doesn’t do, the physical therapist played with him and gave him different activities to do- and the case manager typed it all on her laptop while it was going on. It was a little frantic trying to keep up with everything going on at once. It didn’t help that Holden was obsessed with the PT’s tool box full of toys.
Parker completed all of the tasks with flying colors. They were even impressed by his problem solving skills and how he didn’t get frustrated at all when he didn’t quite do something correctly the first time. He put puzzle pieces together, stacked blocks, handed things over when he was asked for them.. at one point he was showing off his assisted walking skills, which he did for longer than he’s ever done before- and got to his activity table and held on to it. I backed away and reached for him to come to me, as I usually do and he typically will sit down and crawl over to me- but this time he didn’t. He actually LET GO and took two steps toward me. He has NEVER in his life let go of ANYTHING to take steps on his own. I about crapped my pants. Couldn’t believe that not only had he taken two steps, but he’d taken them with a crowd of people watching.
The appointment took much longer than i’d expected, but both boys seemed to really have a lot of fun with the ladies- and the outcome was very good. They really think they can help him and get him back on track. Unlike CHKD, they don’t think he has a texture aversion. They think it’s more of a conditioning factor. After all he’s been through, he just needs to learn that eating doesn’t have to be associated with pain or sickness.
We’ll get to start therapy as early as next week, which is very exciting. I have NO idea what they have planned to get him to meet the goals we set for him.. but they’re more trained in this kind of behavior than I am so i’m hopeful, and they are VERY hopeful that we can get him back on track within a year if not earlier. I know it’s going to be a long process- i’m not expecting it to be fast- but just knowing that there could very well be a light at the end of the tunnel is more than we’ve ever had before.
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