While Hailey was in the NICU, the paperwork started rolling for Hailey's therapy. I was shocked that anyone would start therapy that young...she was only a few weeks old. Those first few weeks and month of therapy were overwhelming to me. We only had one hour a week but I hated it. I felt like a failure. Not matter how much we worked on strengthening her neck and arms...I felt it was a flop...we were getting no where. I was getting frustrated...I would cry after every session. I felt like a failure. My mommy guilt is worse with Hailey than it has ever been with the boys. Since I stay home with my children, I feel I will be judged if Hailey walks at a certain age, if she can articulate her words...I feel directly responsible with how Hailey is perceived by others. Nope, I didn't say it was rational but that is always how I have felt. A few weeks later, we were assigned a new therapist. It was the best thing that could have happened at that time. We clicked personality-wise...Hailey responded to her. Therapy through EI has been great ever since.
Fortunately for us, Hailey has responded well with the parent-teaching model that our state uses. We have hit a little plateau right now but it is because walking is super hard work for Hailey. You can tell she is getting stronger every week but if you didn't know her and don't spend time with her, you won't see those changes in her. Our EI therapist has agreed that the model works and we have worked in once a week therapy sessions into our IFSP (individual family service plan) along with our goals for the current 6 months.
Up until recently, we only had private therapy once every other month. We are changing that to once every two weeks. Right now, we will see speech and physical therapy once every other week to work on walking and strengthening all the muscles involved and continue working on communicating and speech. It is one hour of therapy and they both work with her at the same time. I was quite skeptical about the model at first, but I love it!!! They work great together and Hailey loves them both! It works and I couldn't imagine changing it. We will occasionally switch PT out with OT...they both work great with our ST. I'm hoping that Hailey stays receptive to therapy.
Another key to Hailey's therapy is something that most people don't even realize....her older brothers. Her motivation is being with them...getting their stuff...playing with them. She started pulling up to the couch to grab one of their DS games. She started rolling to get to their crayons. She army crawled to get to legos. She stands and climbs over the top of them to give them kisses. Those two boys are an integral part of her therapy that they are oblivious to it...let's keep it that way...the giggles and love that come from their play could melt an iceberg.
In the end, there is no right or wrong way to utilize therapies. Every day...once a week...once a month...none at all. Every child responds differently and every child learns differently. Every family has to find the right balance for their family. In the end, everyone wants what is best for their child so that is what we search to find!
|So does this count as container play? Taking an item out and releasing.|
|Begging dad for banana pudding|
|Working on "uh-oh"...we can only get the "oh" part though!|
|I think PT/ST wiped this little girl out yesterday!|
|Yep...there she goes!|
|Definitely NOT what her therapists want to see!|
|My sweet baby|
|Therapy wipes this girl out every time!|