There's this gal who recently joined my book club. She lives in my neighborhood and has twin boys who attend the same school my kids attend. I've seen her around the neighborhood here and there for all the years we've lived here, but only started to get to know her when she joined the book club I'm in a couple months ago, and I liked her right off. We seem very like-minded in a lot of ways, and I felt like we hit it off nicely.
Well, guess what. She's an occupational therapist. I had heard this through the grapevine, although I wasn't sure just what kind of OT she is. But I took a small leap a few days ago and sent her an email telling her a little about Finn and asking if I could pick her brain about therapy, explaining to her all my conflicting feelings about it, what our experience with therapy has been, etc., etc. And I told her that we're kind of at a place right now where we're making some changes to Finn's therapy protocol, and that we have an upcoming IFSP meeting. I told her that I'd sure appreciate some guidance from someone in the know. She was so thrilled that I asked her (which was a relief because I really felt like I was imposing, but she went on and on about how she loves her job and really likes helping friends and acquaintances navigate the system).
She and I talked on the phone this weekend for a long time and her philosophy and approach seem to be in line with what I want for Finn. For instance, she explained to me how beneficial it is for him to crawl for a long period of time rather than being pushed to walk as soon as possible, because as a crawler (he's been crawling since 10 - 11 months but is nowhere near walking), he's developing and strengthening all kinds of muscle groups and fine motor skills that are very important for long-term development. With Eun, it really felt like she was just intent on getting him to the next big milestone, whatever that took. Granted, Eun was a PT, and Emily is an OT, and Emily told me that PTs and OTs do tend to have very different philosophies and approaches (which makes me wonder how a team of therapists with different philosophies and approaches can ever provide a cohesive therapy "package").
Anyway, she made me feel inspired and hopeful about the possibility of having a positive, beneficial therapy experience. And she offered to be Finn's new OT! She works with the Regional Center that provides Finn's services, and she said I can request her and that she has room in her caseload.
We still have to decide what we're going to do about PT and ST. I've been told now by our SC, by Eun previously, and now by Emily that speech therapists who do in-home therapy in our area are almost nil, so I'm concerned about that because I do think that Finn could benefit from ST at this point, and with Lilah still home with me and multiple school drop-offs and pick-ups for the other kids every day, plus naps for the two youngest, I'm just not sure how feasible it would be to take Finn somewhere for ST at this point. I also don't know what we're going to do about PT right now. I'm almost inclined to do without PT for the next few months, focus on OT, and maybe do clinic-based therapy in the fall when Lilah starts preschool.
Anyway, I'm feeling very positive about getting started with Emily!