Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Therapies ... Ending and Beginnings

We hit another milestone in April.  We "graduated" from two of our therapies!  This is exciting because it gives us more time in our weeks.  It's also great to know that for now, it's not needed.

Daniel has been receiving Occupational Therapy for about 2.5 years now.  He has made tremendous progress in that time.  He has Sensory Processing Disorder.  This can look different for different people.  For Daniel, he is super sensitive to sensory input (things you see, hear, smell, taste and touch).  It meant that a firm grasp on his arm felt incredibly painful and would cause him to cry out.  Or foods that weren't "right" (and there were just 4 foods he would eat) caused him to throw up.  Too much noise or too many people caused him to retreat and be unwilling to try anything. 

There is a large "play" room with lots of sensory experiences in it.  This has become a fun play space for Daniel.  I so wish we could have a room like this in our home.  With 3 children receiving OT it would have much use (not to mention just be fun for all of us).  There are so many things that Daniel was unwilling to try and that now he enjoys.  Can I tell you that it just does this mama's heart good to see him able to have fun?!  Check out that smile!

This ball pit was something he would not even come close to for the longest time.  It overwhelmed him.  Can you see him in there now?

Or now?  This is huge progress!

He also did a lot of work on eating.  A lot.  He has made huge strides in this area.  Some probably thought he was a "picky" eater, but it was so much more.  Watching him gag or throw up foods that are reasonable to expect a child to eat was hard.  He was able to eat just a few things - homemade pumpkin muffins, homemade bread, applesauce and I think yogurt.  That's it.  Yes, that was all.

Now, he is able to eat fruits, some veggies, meats, pizza, and even things mixed together.  We had a baked omelette for dinner and he devoured it.  This has been such a hard thing to have a child with food issues.  I'm very thankful for the help we have received from his wonderful therapist!  I'm thankful for the improvements he has made. 

I'm not sure if we will be doing therapy periodically for Daniel (though I'm guessing it will be).  For now though, he has no more OT. 

Isaiah has also been going to OT for a couple of months.  It was primarily to help with his handwriting.  He has made a little bit of improvement, but honestly I don't see huge gains here.  He can write, but it is laborious and difficult.  That hasn't changed.  His therapist (who was also very good) just felt like there was no more she could do for him.  So he is finished too (and very glad to be done with it all).

Isaiah has also started "speech" therapy to help with Auditory Processing Disorder.  We've just been twice and I'm not really sure what to expect.  I'd love to hear from you if you have experience in this area.  How long should it take before we see improvement.  The sessions seem short and I don't really get what is going on.  I'm hopefully going to work some of this out with his new therapist via email. 

So, that's where we are for now.  I still have a lot to figure out - even without the therapies to make sure my kis that need it get the input that helps them out.  I'm thankful for the help we've gotten and also grateful for a break.

I know that God has made these children in His image.  I'm thankful for the gifts and talents he has given each one of them.  I'm also thankful for the opportunities to help them gain skills in areas in which they struggle.  I am thankful for the ways that I am learning through all of this too.  God is good.