In just a few short months I have really seen how important occupational, physical and speech therapy have helped my son, Noah. However, to not have this post be too long, I’m going to focus on the things I’ve noticed due to OT, that have not only helped Noah, but us (and our sanity) as well!
Noah has always been very OCD about certain things. The fans in the house all had to be the same speed AND going the same direction. Noah immediately knew if one fan was spinning slower than the others or had been turned to spin the opposite direction. Noah would not settle down until all the fans were back the “right” way. He also had to have every light on in the house and would go back and forth to each room to stare at the light. This was our normal just a few months ago.
The exercises Noah’s OT has done with him, have worked wonders. Even my husband was skeptical that these “silly” OT exercises for Noah couldn’t possibly help anything. Well, today, I’m proud to say my husband was wrong! Our normal today? The only light that is left on most of the day is the one in the living room. The fans, which were our biggest issue, all of a sudden can now be left off. Yes, in the off position and not moving and this kid does not lose his mind. He doesn’t care in the slightest that the fan is off or on the lowest setting or even if they fans are all different speeds between the rooms. My husband, the skeptic, finally had to admit; maybe these “silly” OT exercises were really doing something. He had no choice but to admit that these same type of exercises had also helped with live singing that was hard for Noah to hear (this was the subject of my last post) and now he can hear someone sing Happy Birthday or even hit a really high note and he will be just fine. It used to be that he would cry like he was being tortured when he heard someone singing live.
Originally, I wasn’t going to start these current therapies until summer. Noah was getting some of these therapies at school, however, I felt like it wasn’t enough but I didn’t want to keep adding more to his days because I thought it may be too much for him. Obviously now, I’m over the moon with his progress and glad I didn’t wait. The results I’ve already seen in such a short amount of time have been incredible to me.
I do think it’s important that the chemistry is good between the therapist and patient. Noah likes his therapists and works hard to please them and me. Yes, there are days Noah is not “in the mood” for therapy of any kind but I’m thankful that’s few and in between.
I think it’s also important that you as the parent make these therapies a priority. I’ve had therapists tell me they have parents cancel on them all the time, yet these same parents wonder why they don’t see progress with their child. I never cancel with Noah’s therapists unless he’s sick or a doctor’s appointment is taking longer than expected and we won’t be home in time for the therapy that day. I work other important things I need to get done around Noah’s therapies because I’ve seen the amazing progress he’s made and will continue as long as I put his needs first.
My current issue that I’d like to begin working on now is for Noah to sit still for longer periods of time. Noah is always on the go. Always. We can’t go anywhere unless Noah can be strapped in, in some way, either by stroller or shopping cart. This is fine for errands I need to get done around town. However, we can’t go to the movies as a family, go see a live theatre show on the lawn downtown, or go see Noah’s cousins play their sports games because Noah will want to be everywhere and doing anything but sitting still for even two minutes.
Just like the fans all had to be on and the same direction were frustrating for us, this is another big frustration. It keeps me from doing a lot that I’d like to do because it would require Noah to sit still and he just can’t do it…yet. He’ll get there. I know it. I didn’t think his OCD with the fans and lights would get better and they did, so I know we’ll get there with sitting still. Mom just needs to be patient.
Until then, we’ll keep working on it in therapy.