Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Back to work!

When Ethan came home we immediately contacted both early intervention as well as a private occupational and speech therapists. Our biggest concern was that Ethan was not eating and he had severe oral aversion. His pediatrician labeled him as failure to thrive and at 2 1/2 years old and 17 pounds that label seemed to hit the nail on the head.

His first six months home, Ethan had speech, occupational and developmental therapies several times a week. He then transitioned into the Three and up program, which is an all day preschool based program housed in the Elementary school. It is speech and development intensive. A few months later his wonderful OT, Miss Roni discharged him with words of caution. She had taken him pretty much as far as she could at that stage of the game but there may be times in the future that he would need to see her or another OT again as issues warranted

Well, the time to go back seems to have come; we are back in OT again. We have noticed that his strength is not what it should be and it affects so much of his day to day life. It was obvious that we needed to have him assessed again. He has a strange and labored gait as he runs, his balance is very poor, he cannot throw a ball properly and he cannot hop on one foot among other deficiencies. The final straw was dropped this past weekend as we took the kids to a local field to ride bikes and they wanted to try to ride without their training wheels. Katie did great and Ethan....well, not so much. He could not even keep the bike up for a fraction of a second on his own. He is so tenacious though and he kept trying. We had to explain to him that we would work on strengthening his muscles so that he could do it too. Poor little guy looked so sad....

The bright side is that Miss Roni assessed him and she feels that she can help him build all of these skills pretty quickly. The other bright side is that I have been working for Miss Roni and her partner, Miss Sandra the speech therapist for about three months as their office manager, so I know what magic is worked in that clinic on a daily basis. She was also nice enough to provide these services as a benefit to me and not charge for them. I was so touched and grateful since money is still a concern.

When we first brought Ethan home, our biggest worry was his health and even his life. He was in such sad shape. Now we get to see him become a active participant in his own treatment. He has such a zest for life and we know that this will allow him to build his strength and his confidence very quickly. Roni has also suggested that some of his super mischievous behavior may be a coping technique that he has adapted to compensate for his not feeling a very strong sense of himself and his own power. We love his fun loving personality but know that helping him to tone it down will serve him well as he gets older.

Onward and Upward is the motto for the day! I will keep you updated on his progress.


Love Letters To China said...

So happy to hear that you're able to get him started again in OT with Roni. Your little man will certainly give it all he has and will be riding his bicycle withou stabilizers before you know it! He is such a fighter... Just like his momma!

Gail said...

Your little guy is one amazing person, and he is certainly with the mamma who has and will continue to be an advocate for him.
You have such great insight about your son. With time and OT again, I'm confident Ethan will do amazingly well and be riding without his training wheels soon!

You are the best Lori!

M3 said...

You guys make such a wonderful team.

Vivian M said...

Ethan will do wonderfully, I just know it! And it sounds like you have found the best therapists to help him achieve his goals. :o)

Mama Duck said...

You always have such an upbeat way of describing (and dealing with) things that life throws you! I know that Ethan gets a lot of his tenacity and "can-do" attitude from his mommy!

Donna said...

As you know, we face some of the same challenges. If anyone can solve this, you guys can! I can just imagine the look on Ethan's face when he figured out that he wasn't going to be able to ride his bike. If balance is an issue, you can try getting him a Razor scooter. It's a really good way to make balancing 2nd nature. We heard about it from friends and tried it and it really helped the girls when we took their training wheels off.

How old is Ethan now? Maddy will be six this summer and she's still 30 pounds. She's six inches shorter than Gwen. Strength is an issue for her too but we've just assume it's because she's such a wispy little thing. I'm curious to know what the OT is going to do to help Ethan because maybe we can borrow some of those ideas too.


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Mary McG in TN said...

You are the MOST amazing Mom EVER!!! Your insight and willingness to see potential problems and follow through is THE BEST. Most moms, bio or otherwise would not even think that there might be something a little off kilter with their child. You go, girl! Kudos to you.