Saturday, October 31, 2009

Therapy and the Therapist

In any other normal time, I would not have missed an opportunity to give in to the nostalgia of Baby Girl's one-year homecoming anniversary.

This last year has not been a normal time.

Baby Girl (and her parents and siblings, too, I might add) suffered through month after month of doctors visits, hospital stays, specialists, lab work and tests that I am quite certain
did little, if anything, for creating an ideal bonding experience.

Finally, sometime in the spring, we noticed the fog lifting. We were no longer on a first name basis with the pharmacy people at Walgreens and it seemed appropriate to discard at least two-thirds of our accumulated plastic medicine dropper collection. (Which still left us with several dozen. You know, just in case.)

And as her health dramatically improved, we began to relax. Just long enough for her doctor to notice that she (at 19 months old) was still cruising around the furniture and not standing unassisted.

Thus began our foray into the world of Early Intervention. Have you been there? It's a nice place to visit, but I'm keeping my passport close at hand, in case of a speedy departure. We've been evaluated, re-valuated, and screened. We've been classified, qualified and certified. Which won us two weekly hour long therapy appointments--one in Physical Therapy and the other in Developmental Therapy. The P/T therapist had one session with Baby Girl (who at 34 lbs and 3 ft. tall probably needs a new name...) and she started walking. Success--more so for the therapist's stats than for us as we knew she was close.

The D/T therapist was another story.

Little happened during those sessions that wasn't happening in our home already. And, truth be told, when a woman a decade younger than me with two children whose ages together don't total the number of arklings around here; I am a bit of a cynic.

Turns out that it wasn't just my cynicism at work, however, Baby Girl (who in addition to her physical stature also wears a plus-sized streak of stubbornness and strong will) had the therapist figured out at 'hello'.

And while Baby Girl's expressive language is clearly lacking, her receptive language more than makes up for it. Particularly when she heard the aforementioned D/T therapist's story about her own toddler's strong will:

D/T therapist: What's the matter Baby Girl? You don't want to play put the ball in a cup?

Baby Girl proceeds to pick up cup and ball and bails.

D/T therapist (to me): It's okay. My two year old is just like this.

Me (I don't think I said this out loud): I am just shocked.

D/T therapist (to me again): No seriously, (maybe I did say that out loud?) Why just the other morning, we were sitting at the breakfast table and my husband went to get something out of the freezer and my daughter saw ice cream.

Me: wondering aloud if this story is going where I fear it is.

D/T therapist: So, of course, she starts screaming for ice cream.

Me: Of course.

D/T therapist: Well, I looked from her to my husband and said to him, " Why on earth would you tease her with ice cream in the morning?"

***I'll insert here that I'd like to think that my expression may have mimicked the husband's because she scowled a bit at me and continued.***

D/T therapist: And I just thought to myself, 'You know, you have to pick your battles.' And I dished her up a bowl of ice cream.

Me: ?

D/T therapist: She did stop screaming.

Baby Girl (who has been within earshot this whole time) sauntered back in, dropped the ball in the cup and then looked at me--as if to say--"I am so done with her."

Needless to say, we have stopped D/T. And replaced it, with a more appropriate course of Speech and Language Therapy. Which was the intent of this post in the first place. I've found some fascinating information regarding adopted infants/toddlers and speech and language delays.

But I'll have to share it with you next time. Baby Girl is screaming. I need to go fix her some ice cream. ;-)


darci said...

heehee, bahha! that is so funny-'did i say that in my outside voice?' good job ditching her..sounds like she would fall under the heading 'quack'....

Michelle said...

I can relate. When Gerard first arrived we had DT, BT, OT, and PT coming to the house each week. Now we've progressed to IEPs. So glad to hear Baby Girl is doing so well.

Gardenia said...

arggggggh. don't you hate that?