After lots of tooing and froing with appointment slots and availability of 2 therapists we manage to get Elliot a slot to have a dual screening for OT and SLT at the beginning of April right before our trip back to the UK. We are given a huge amount of information to read through and consent forms to agree to pay for treatment up front as the therapists do not work with the insurance companies. The therapy is going to cost just short of $35 for each 15 minute interval I hope that the insurance company will fund it or some of it.
So the big day arrives for Elliots screening I have spent the last few days telling Elliot that we are going to meet some new poeple and see what fun toys they have and what fun games we may be able to play with them. We set off for the screening and I try to stay up beat for Elliot as I don’t want him to be concerned. Deep down I am concerned that our fears are going to be recognised and we can’t pretend there isn’t anything wrong with him other than him being a little quirky and shy. Fingers crossed here we go…..
The session starts with the OT. Elliot is very quiet and really doesn’t want to answer any questions, he is struggling to make eye contact with the therapist and generally feeling pretty uncomfortable. He is asked a few questions and really struggles to answer. My hopes that he is just a shy boy are fading fast as you can see the discomfort he is in just being asked a few pretty standard questions. The therapist continues and tries to engage play with him which is pretty hard. I am asked a few questions about Elliot in general about his gross and fine motor skills. I thought he was developing normally and was just a bit clumsy, maybe there is a little more to this. So I ask the therapist a question that i am pretty sure of the answer to….”Is Elliot just exhibiting behaviour that a very shy child does and are his delays related to his shyness?” I hopefully wait for the answer of “Yes” but know deep down what is coming. I am told that there is something a little more complex at play here. Big sigh…….After a few more questions for me and some exercises with Elliot we are given some profiles to complete for Elliot to give the therapists a better ide of Elliot and how he is functioning. We are then taken to another room for SL screening. We are greeted by a lovely, warm and friendly lady. I have spoken to her many times on the phone, lining up the appointment for Elliot and discussing with her why I felt Elliot needed assessing. I am completely at ease because she is going to tell me that I am of course correct, Elliot’s speech is absolutely age appropriate and that the school just don’t hear him talk too much and have over reacted a little. The therapist is asking Elliot questions and is struggling to understand him. I am struggling not to answer for him as I fully understand him. The therapist realises that I understand him completely and asks more questions and does more exercises. The pennies slowly start to drop, he does indeed have a speech and language issue. As the session draws to an end Elliot is relatively unaware of what is happening. The sessions are conducted in a playful environment so the children are most comfortable. I decide to bite the bullet and ask the therapist “The question”. Is Elliot’s condition Aspergers syndrome? She nods and I struggle to fight back the tears although it has been in the back of my mind for so long there is always part of you that hopes that you are imagining it and that he is just painfully shy. Oddly enough the therapist also had tears in her eyes I guess this and my gut instinct is why I like this place everyone seems to really want to help.
Ok so now we have an idea what we are dealing with and have some codes for the therapy Elliot needs it is time to get on to the insurance company. PTS surprisingly enough are really expensive. As we are going to need 2 lots of therapy a week between 30-45 mins, each 15mins cost nearly $35 the bills are soon going to mount up. Armed with the information from PTS and a idea of the dialogue I need to use this going to be easy right? Wrong!!!! I ring the insurance company and they tell me we are not covered by the codes for the therapy. Ok so what do we do now? We are due to fly to England in a few days for Easter so I guess we need to have a think about our options and find out what to do next
Not a lot to report re the TSSV sessions as we are in the UK for most April. Here is the update for the session at the beginning of April.
Elliot: (Will be gone April 11, 18, 25) Session 4
- Cheers: very engaged with balls and hoop game – needed some prompting to pick up the 2 balls and stay in line next to friends – prefers to keep a distance from his peers – watches the group, needs confidence to join in. Once he watches for a while, he joins with a prompt. He needs to watch first, then do the activity. Big smiles when throwing the balls through the hoop. With prompt, told friends about his upcoming trip to the UK, and visit Grandma and “blow out candles” for her birthday. Also told about his 2 “Cars” cars and showed his friends.
- Challenge: maintaining group peer play, speaking to peers