Thursday, January 15, 2009

Update: Shea's fine motor and Sensory issues

We had the long awaited meeting about Shea getting OT services through the school. He had recently been re-tested with the Peabody for fine motor skills and they also ran the Sensory Integration test too.

There weren't many real surprises; Shea has significant sensory integration issues. He is Hypo vs. Hyper meaning that he needs extra stimuli, big touch, heavy weight, lots of movement. This kind of makes sense because of his "low" lone issue in his face. But, the schools don't give services for Sensory Integration issues; our only chance was to have him qualify for fine motor.

It's all good information but the piece by piece conversation cataloging in detail all of Shea's "challenges" is always really hard to hear.

I wonder why they don't automatically start off with what the kid is good at but they didn't. I suppose they are trying to be economical with time and just jump right in but it always makes me pissed, defensive and depressed as I am sitting there.

So, after all that, Shea's fine motor skills did not test low enough for him to get services so basically the whole meeting was for naught. We did get to talk about a lot of uncomfortable things there were pretty upsetting for me though. Like how Shea is pretty aggressive and explosive on the playground; hitting and pushing.

Because of his hypo-sensitivity issues, they are going to try some new things. For example: they would like to put a big pad out in the playground up against the fence. This would be a "bounce off" area where it will be ok to push, and hit and run into it at high speed. Great. Something tells me that will be a popular area among the boys of the class whether they have "sensory issues" or not. They also suggested a big, thick nylon rope for tug-o-war.

I brought up the sibling issue again. Molly is Shea's prime role model on everything and I know that how they play together is effecting how is playing with the other kids. I had suggested before that Molly could come to the class for a visit so that their interactions could be observed and maybe some gentle suggestions could be made. By someone other than me. I've tried, believe me. I am the broken record but if a counselor or Shea's teacher could talk with Molly and give her some advise I think it would go a long way.

That suggest sort of went flat last year and no one seemed to have the time. But, at this latest meeting, Shea's teacher suggested for Molly to come visit during recess and that she would talk to her. I think we will try that.

The potty training came up again, of course. Apparently they are having no success at school and not really even trying. In P-4, they don't really encourage kids to go potty together so he is getting no role model action there. Last year in P-3 they did but now they are big kids and it is a privacy issue. They also don't want to stigmatize him or make it obvious to the other kids which could be bad or embarrassing down the road. I guess they are right.

So, we are in the same place we have always been but a meeting like this seems to suck the optimism right out of the room. There is something about having all these challenges painted out one by one before your eyes that is very disconcerting.

I know they are doing their best and they like Shea and want to see him succeed. I do value their input and appreciate the time they spend. But, it does point out how rigid this system is, how the bell curve rules and being inside or outside the standard deviation is the prime discussion point.

I like the suggestions of different kinds of play or something new to try. You know, real life stuff. But, when someone shoves a sheet of paper with numbers all over it, I tend to go blank and get irritated. This is my son! Not a data group!

"You know, this doesn't mean anything to me. Please don't waste your time going through all these numbers because it doesn't mean anything. Let's just talk about Shea." I suppose I was rude. I don't really blame them, this is the pool they swim in.


David said...

Hi Shell, Here's a Big cyber hug!!! I'm proud of you for doing everything that is possible for Shea. We're all here for you so don't ever hesitate to call upon us for anything.

Love David

Shea's Mom said...

Thanks bro. I appreciate it. These meetings are tough.


Anonymous said...

You need to know that you and Jake are great parents for Shea. He is lucky to have you to advocate for him and those kids whose parents may not be able to. I'm sorry this is rough on you hon. I am very proud of you. Keep your chin up & more deep breaths.

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