Saturday, October 13, 2007

What Is This Lady Thinking?

I don't mean to be a b.i.t.c.h. and I certainly don't mean to imply anything negative about the field of occupational therapy, but c'mon, what is this lady thinking?

Let's see...the OT at my kids' school wants my child to wear (a) a weighted vest, (b) a grin guard, (c) a weighted "snake" around her neck, (d) sit on a funny chair, (e) sit at a funny desk, (f) chew on plastic bracelets, and (g) slide around on some wheely thing.

Hmm. I wonder if any of the other kids would ever think she's a freak? Naw. Second and third grade girls are wonderful to each other. They're never mean. And they certainly never make fun of the kid who's different. Never.

Also, in the morning, before school, yes, before school, when we have so much ample time and I have so much patience (what? you don't believe me?), she wants her to jump on a trampoline, get a massage (from me, of course), take a shower, work with clay, bead a necklace or bracelet, and anything else I can think of that would allow my overly tactile child to use her hands and get some gross motor muscle stimulation.

Call in the dogs and put out the fire! We've got a FREAK SHOW on our hands!

If any child really needs these things, I don't mean to offend. But my kid is just a little anxious, a little introverted, a little scared about those first weeks of school. She's the type of kid who will make about one friend at a time (and she does have a BFF). She's the type of kid that needs a bit of down time after school to recharge her introverted batteries.

She does not need all this ridiculous intervention!

Now I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that I'm one of those overly protective mothers who thinks my children are God's gift to the universe. And if you think that, you'd be wrong. I'm definitely not one of those parents! Really, I'm not.

I just think this woman has taken her interventions a little too far. She hasn't even done any of her own observations in the classroom this year. She observed my child in kindergarten, a full two years ago, and is generalizing not only from her observations back then, but from some label she's assigned my child. It scares the hell out of me. My young child, at this extremely small school (where there's only one class per grade and where all of the children move to the next grade together with the same teacher) does not need this labeling! She doesn't need the other kids in her class to single her out as some sort of oddball. And we all know how girls about this age can start to act. We all know! This is not what my child needs!

What's a mother to do?


Mary Alice said...

Wow. I would definately ask this OT to observe your child based on notes from two years ago, before making any recommendations.
As adults we do not change a lot in two years, but children can change tremendously. It seems unprofessional and frankly irresponsible to base recommendations on observations of two years prior.
How would she like your husband to prescribe her antibiotics today, sight unseen, based on a touch of strep she had two years ago? Would she think he was practicing good medicine?

Fairly Odd Mother said...

I second Mary Alice's wow. I think I'd just say, 'thank you for your advice. Now, please give me something realistic to do that won't be so obvious to the rest of the world'. And, yes, she should observe your daughter now, not based on how she was two years ago! I think I would've laughed and cried at the 'plan', esp at the notion of your little girl wearing all those items in a classroom!

Family Adventure said...

If you strongly believe that this 'label' is way off base, not only should you not follow her recommendations, but you also need to say so to both her and your little girl's teacher (I am assuming they are not one and the same?).
You are so right, you do NOT want to labelled from the get-go, especially if that label is wrong.
On the other hand, if your little girl does need a bit of help in her adjustments, I am sure you will see to it that she gets it. My youngest son, for instance, finds EVERYTHING difficult. He has a special seat, a special pencil grip, gets occupational therapy, etc, etc. He is in grade 2. I have found the other kids to be surprisingly "OK" with it. I am not sure they even notice. But then, he is a boy, and quite an extroverted boy at that, and that does make a difference, too.
In any case, you are obviously going to stand up for your child - which is great, because noone can do it better!
Good post!
- Heidi