Friday, January 11, 2008

And now for the good news

Today was one of those reminders about the ins and outs of homeownership. Not to go into too many details, but it involved our first emergency call to a plumber. On the upside, we had a reminder that we're in a small town with a lower-cost-of-living than before when we were handed the bill.

I don't want to let that divert me from the recent news that has brought us relief and a promise of routine.

The three of us went to Scooter's occupational therapy evaluation at the elementary school. The therapist was great with him, and he was immediately at ease with her. At the same time we were proud of how cooperative he was and how well he did at many of the tasks, Trillian and I were both worrying that he would push himself just out of qualification.

He cut along several different lines, although he forgot a couple times of how to hold his scissors or maneuver the paper with his free hand. He copied all of the patterns she made with blocks, both when she left her models up and when she took them away. He wrote his name a couple times and drew some straight lines.

But his cuts were uneven. It was clear that he had to concentrate very hard to manipulate the blocks without knocking them over. And he simply could not color between the lines he was given.

On top of that, she had the opportunity to observe his auditory sensitivity a couple times. Nothing major, but it was quite obvious how hard he finds it to filter out background noise. And she tested some of his gross motor skills when he was aroused, so she had the chance to see what a hard time he had maintaining coordination when unfocused.

The therapist told us that she would try to qualify him and which pieces of information we should emphasize to the district evaluators next week. I don't think it hurt that Scooter was incredibly sweet and the therapist would obviously enjoy working with him--she said as much.

So the therapist called back after running through the results and toting up his scores. He qualifies for OT through the school! And that alone qualifies him for the public preschool!

He'll still go in for the full evaluation next week, and the OT wants to send him to the physical therapist for an evaluation too. There's still speech (though he has exploded in expressive language; if he needs any help, it would mostly be in pronunciation).

We would love to see him getting OT and PT both to work on motor planning and tone, but just knowing that he'll definitely be in OT and will be able to engage in structured socialization in the preschool program is enough to send us over the moon.

5 comments:

bubandpie said...

Still dreaming of OT over here. It was recommended at Bub's screening in November 06, it was recommended again at his diagnostic assessment in November 07, and still nothing. Argh. It sounds like Scooter has a wonderful therapist to work with.

metro mama said...

Great news. So glad to hear it.

Lisa b said...

Fantastic news. I have heard so many parents complain about the difficulty in obtaining services. I'm so glad to hear this story.
I am wondering if there is a shift in some areas to provide more and better types of services. I might have told you the school I am looking at for Julia has "community' aka regular kids as well as special needs, with a focus on sensory and social processing issues. A second campus of the school opens next september as there is so much demand.
I am awash in services and realise how lucky I am. I guess I will have to begrudgingly go thank The Guru for giving me a diagnosis.

Aliki2006 said...

Great news!

We're awaiting official word on the OT, too. His school was so busy with the autism diagnosis and his IEP for that and they're only now turning to the OT/sensory part of things. Right now we pay $40/week copays for OT he really needs, so we're hoping to hear back from the school this week about it.

Mouse said...

Our school district seems to lean towards providing as much as they can, within the restrictions of state and federal guidelines. Which is very lucky since all indications have been that it would be difficult to get OT covered by our insurance.

He was telling Grandma and Grandpa yesterday about the nice teacher and the classroom outside (her room was in an outside building). He is now excited about going to school. Yeah!