OT Issues

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-28-2010
OT Issues
6
Tue, 07-12-2011 - 5:30pm

Hi,

I was just wondering if anyone could offer any advice or insight. I've been taking my son to an OT therapist and it's been going horribly. At first my son who is 4 was going back to the therapy room alone with her. For the last three weeks he has been crying, telling me he doesn't want to go back there alone and having nightmares. I started going back to the therapy room with him and I don't like her technique at all and was wondering if anyone else has experienced this. My son does not like anyone touching his mouth and she is pinning him down and putting her gloved fingers in his mouth for the entire 1/2 session. Everything that I've read has said that OT is supposed to be fun and he is now terrified. He has also suffered with being an extremely picky eater his entire life and basically lives off of milk. I had gotten him to eat a couple of bites of food lately until the OT started. Now he complains that his mouth and throat hurt. He also is flipping out if anyone gets to close to him when we go to the store now and that was never an issue before and is now back to sleeping with me since he says he's afraid to be in his room alone now. He know tells me people are blocking him like Ms. Angelique blocks him. He also receives ST at this center and the Speech Therapist is also very rude and opens the door while the OT lady is putting her fingers in his mouth and he is crying and screaming. I had to tell her to close the door as we wanted privacy. My son is also clinging more to a little bear his had since he was a baby and the ST lady said he needed to leave it home and that I'd better not think about putting him in a regular Pre-kindergarten program :smileysad: Needless to say once I left there I myself was a basketcase. I'm not sure what to do since I took a job paying less than half of what I was making before to spend more time with him and therefore now qualify for Medicaid and this is one of the only clinics that accepts it. I've heard that if I cancel this Medicaid HMO I could then take him to the Easter Seals center but don't know what to do. He has very severe issues with noise that include singing and I told this OT that I would like to address that as well as his gross and fine motor skills as he can't even pedal a big wheel and wants to learn how to :(. She just wants to use the entire session on his mouth.

I'm suffering from anxiety now myself as this whole situation is very difficult to deal with.

Pat Nelson's Mom

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
In reply to: patnelsmom
Thu, 07-14-2011 - 5:55pm
Ok, take a deep breath. And another.

I think that you need to sit down with this therapist (maybe both) and have a big talk. You will need to be strong, and don't let her bully you with "I'm the expert!" stuff.

You need to make her aware of all the regression stuff that you mentioned here. Write it down in list form before the meeting so you don't forget anything. She needs to know about regressions, I would think she would WANT to know.

Next, find out what the goals are for your son for the next period of time (semester, fiscal period, month, what ever she uses.) Find out exactly how she intends to address those goals. Ask how the methods she uses will help your son to reach those goals. Ask if, given his regressions (sleeping in bed with you, stranger fear, etc) if there is a different way than what she is doing to address those goals. Ask her if there is a name for the method of treatment she is using. (Then look it up at home.) Take a friend or your husband with you to this meeting if you need to.

Now, for my gut opinion. I have never heard of an OT doing stuff with the mouth, other than giving food for kids who have oral needs. Speech therapy, yes - the therapists had their hands in my son's mouth. But never the OT. You need to talk to the speech therapist and be sure that she is ok with what is going on too, because it may be making HER job more difficult. Now, all that said, it may be that this is something that some therapists do, but again, I have never heard of it.

If your son is 4, he qualifies for services at the local school district. The week before school starts, call up the special education department and ask whom you need to contact to have your son evaluated. Then, submit a letter to that person stating his issues and how you feel it will hinder his learning at school unless he can get services. They have a couple weeks to get back with you to set up an appointment for an evaluation. It is free through the school, and may be better quality, depending on your district. (Where I currently am, the school therapists are better paid and higher quality than the private medical clinics. The last place we lived the district was cutting everything and overworking the therapists, so the only ones who would stay were the ones who were the most desperate.) One other advantage to the school ones is that they focus on what the kid needs to succeed at school, which means that overcoming a reluctance of people putting their hands near his mouth should be pretty low. More would be dealt with getting him used to kids singing, listening to stories, sitting near other kids, learning how to write...stuff that effects the classroom.

As to her "recommendation" about no preschool, well, go talk to the preschool. They may be able to say, yes, your child needs an evaluation and services. They may recommend a special ed preschool in the school district, or say that they can provide help there. Some preschools are very good about letting kids sit in the back until they are comfortable with little pressure to participate.

Short answer, yes, trust your mom instinct and find someone else. Talk to her first though, and see if she can focus on the stuff he will actually need for school instead of his mouth. (Honestly, I think most kids would have issues with this! To him, she is coming across as a big bully - she needs to do different things.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-28-2010
In reply to: patnelsmom
Sun, 07-17-2011 - 1:06am

Thank you so much for your reply and your wonderful suggestions Caren.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-28-2010
In reply to: patnelsmom
Sun, 07-17-2011 - 1:08am

Thank you so much for your reply and your great advice.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2005
In reply to: patnelsmom
Mon, 07-18-2011 - 8:36am

Good lord, sounds like this woman is wandering into the problem with a blunderbuss!

http://i218.photobucket.com/albums/cc248/gwennyc/b6yfcl.png<A href="http://s218.photobucket

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-28-2010
In reply to: patnelsmom
Tue, 07-19-2011 - 9:11am
No unfortunately he's never worked with a Z-vibe. I wish she would have tried that. Her approach is horrible and he is having nightmares and anxiety over it :(. I am going to ask the woman who owns the center about it. Thank you so much for sharing this with me.

Pat Nels Mom