Today is our first OT and SLT session, at this stage I need to attend with Elliot and just sit and watch and try not to speak or interject. Those of you who know me well will know that this is pretty hard as I love talking :o) With Elliot’s best interests at heart I have to curb my desire to talk and ask lots of questions, I force myself to sit quietly. We arrive early and sign in. I have been spending the last few days discussing with Elliot that we were going to play with Miss Caroline (OT) in the gym and then Miss Christie (SLT) in her room with her Buzz Lightyear toys. The therapists have recommend to keep the sessions light and not really make a big deal about the fact he is having therapy. So instead we just say that we are going to play with the cool toys that they have. Which is not a lie. Elliot has his OT session in a gym that has various different types of swings, trampolines, balance boards, climbing walls, ladders, soft blocks and lots of different obstacles to challenge they kids with gross motor issues and lots of toys also to help with fine motor problems. Anyway here lies a big whoops I hadn’t realised that we would not be seeing Caroline the therapist that did the assessment. On arriving we find out that we are seeing someone else Miss Joyce. Usually changes like this can really throw Elliot off. I have a quick chat with Elliot to reassure him that this was totally fine and that I was sure we would have even more fun than we did with Caroline, fingers crossed.
The OT session starts and Joyce the new therapist introduces her self to Elliot. Elliot is very reserved and takes a long time to move away from my side. He speaks very quietly when spoken to and avoids eye contact completely and is really mumbling so much so Joyce really struggles to get anything out of him. He starts to warm up a little to Joyce but is using mainly one word answers and trying his best to communicate without words. Joyce does really well to get him to speak to her but still he is very “shy”. She tries to get Elliot to use his “loud voice” something we have been encouraging him to do to speak a little louder, with mixed results. The session continues and Joyce encourages Elliot to do exercises that involve a lot of movement. One of his favourite exercises were with the flip flop faces and bean bags. He had lots of coloured cups that he had to throw bean bags into to turn the cups round whilst being pushed on a swing. By the end of the session he was doing a lot better at responding to Joyce.
Next he heads in to the SLT with Christie, we wait for 5 minutes to be informed by the receptionist that Christie is unlikely to make it. Elliot gets upset and bursts into tears I guess 2 unexpected events in one morning are a little hard to deal with. The receptionist tells us that we are welcome to wait and we should be able to get 15 minute session with Christie she just wont be in time for the 30 minute session we had booked. We decide to wait as Elliot was pretty upset. Christie turns up and we start the session. The SLT sessions are a little hard to get used to as we are just sat playing with toys answering questions and generally chit chatting. I kind of struggle with this a little as I am thinking we are paying a lot of money to sit around chatting. It soon becomes evident towards the end of the session that the questions re being asked for a reason and that Christie is already highlighting possible issues with Elliot. When he talks he is blending words together and struggling to get out full sentences. Things I had not realised until it was pointed out. As we only have a short session Christie asks me to do a few exercises with Elliot and try to determine if he can pronounce each letter of the alphabet and if he can pronounce the phonetic equivalent. We don’t think that these are particular issues, we think it is more of the phonetics when letters are blended together. Christie asks him to do a few tongue exercises and feels that his speach issues maybe related to his tongue muscles not being developed properly this we will discover over the coming sessions.