Sunday, April 13, 2014

The OT Eval and a Mae Update!

On Friday Maggie had her Occupational Therapy evaluation, with two OT therapists, an intern, one of her ABA therapists and her social worker present (and of course me too!) and immediately qualified for services (as if there was any doubt!).  She'll be evaluated one more time at home and then we'll start weekly OT sessions, which will bump our therapy count up to 7 sessions a week for a grand total of 19 hours a week.  She's still on the speech wait list (I guess, since we haven't heard anything) but I'm not all that concerned about that.  She gets such a speech work out in her daily sessions and the therapists she has right now are so amazing at encouraging her to communicate, that I'm really okay with where we are.

The OT evaluation was in the new Autism Center that has just opened in our area.  For a little over a year a shut down school has been being remodeled and it's finally open for business.  

The therapy room is pretty spectacular.  It's covered in colorful mats, with various swings, a trampoline, a ball pit and a wide variety of things that Maggie could spend all day having a blast playing on.  Her favorites were the swings (although it was hard to encourage her to sit down on them, she wanted to swing through the air standing up), the trampoline, the weighted blanket and the huge open space that she ran around in.  

And the therapist is known for being good with sensory kids and had me fill out a huge sensory questioner pinpointing Mae's particular sensory processing issues (the only one that wasn't filled with tons of answers and comments was the auditory processing section, which seems to be the one area that I at least am not seeing a ton of issues in).  

There were lots of comments about how strong she is (she is so, so strong) and how she really does remind everyone of a little doll.  

Except when she's doing this:

When she's scaling the walls she reminds me slightly
more of monkey than a doll...
When it was time to go we had a bit of a rough time.  Mae would have liked to stay in that room all day.  An hour and a half of evaluation time just wasn't enough for her.  There were tears until we got outside and she realized that it was a bright and beautiful day and that being out and about wasn't such a bad thing.  

On Saturday she had one of my favorite therapy moments so far.  Before I tell you about it, let me get completely sidetracked though.  When I'm answering autism questioners in various offices, there are often questions about my child's self esteem.  And I always pause like... how on earth would I know that?

I think her self esteem is good.  But she speaks in phrases that are usually one to three words long, when she uses words at all.  And those words are usually like "Green rectangle!" or "The blue dolphin is swimming in the ocean" (one of her all time longest phrases).  She seems self confident and daring... but really, it's not something we can really talk about.  Sometimes she tells me she's a "good girl" but generally that's when she's up to something that she know she shouldn't be doing, so I'm not sure that counts.

Yet it came to mind (at least in a small way) when she finished a puzzle of a mermaid in therapy and looked up at her therapist and said "Mermaid... Maggie.... Pretty!"  She loves pretending to be a mermaid and while I know that thinking about looks isn't the be all and end all of self esteem it is nice to hear her describing herself and using positive words to do it!  

And while we didn't make it all the way to the final blessing today at Mass we did survive an hour and 25 minutes with only one minor-ish mishap (my lip was looking slightly purple and feeling swollen after someone swung their leg up over their head exuberantly and their boot accidentally met my mouth... ah the dangers of motherhood... did I mention she's flexible too?), which feels like a small victory.  After all, being quite and still for 85 minutes is not easy for two out of three of the kids in our family!

And that is the latest update for our littlest girl!  

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