Wednesday, October 7, 2009
DIY OT.. Acronym Heaven
Bob, like most kids on the spectrum, has many sensory issues. While they're not life threatening or dangerous, they do impact significantly on his quality of life.
For example, it can be viewed as kinda comical when a small boy strips off and proudly displays his crown jewels to the passing traffic....but fast forward ten years and the comedy will likely be unappreciated by the local constabulary, and the public in general.
Not being able to tolerate walking barefoot on sand or grass is no big deal now, as Bob can still (just about) be hoisted onto Daddy's shoulders and carried across it. In a few short years we'll need wheelbarrow or a forklift to transport him. Either that or I start taking anabolic steroids now and seriously hit the gym.
He gets a ST/OT (Speech Therapy/Occupational Therapy) sessions about once a month, which is great, but hey, he needs it every day, and short of winning the lottery (or kidnapping an unsuspecting OT and keeping them prisoner - tempting, but illegal)...Bob's needs will have to be met by Yours Truly.
Now, I'm not an OT. Sadly, no-one mentioned to me 20 years ago that one day I would have a gorgeous, loopy son who would need lots of OT, lots of the time. I would have worked a bit harder at school, got an OT qualification, and while I was at it, studied ST, psychology and physiotherapy as well.
What an oversight!
Over the last few years I've read, watched , listened, googled and learned and now have a reasonable grasp of the kind of input Bob needs (mostly jumping, swinging and deep massage). I briefly became enamoured with the notion of having a Sensory Room until I got horribly frightened by the technical equipment with the scary price tags...in retrospect I thought that I would feel less incompetent and more able to Make Him Better if I had space-age gadgets in a dedicated room.
Then I wised up.
I have 3 kids, one husband and two dogs (I hope Bob's Dad won't be offended at being listed after the children, but at least he outranks the mutts).
It's unrealistic to make an entire room out of bounds to all but Sir Bob, and silly to fling money at overpriced toys when we have a mortgage to pay and food to buy. On closer inspection, I found that many of the OT sensory toys that cost upwards of thousands of euros, can be found at a fraction of the price at supermarkets, DIY stores and certain Scandinavian stores...they're just called humble bean bags and fleeces and lava lamps.
It has been a small epiphany to me that we can do DIY OT, and we don't need to build an extension to do it.
And now lets go on to Any Other Business.
My dear friend Lucy has had a miracle all of her own when her 10 year old son Luke started talking after 8 1/2 years of silence. To say that Luke has inspired hope and joy in all autie parents is an understatement. There have been many emotional tears and cheers of delight for this remarkable young man. Well done Luke, your mammy's years of patient love and dedication is clear to us all
Posted by Jean at 1:49 PM