Friday, January 27, 2017

Our Sensory OT Assessment

Last week, an Occupational Therapist came to carry out a sensory assessment on OB. I had little idea what to expect, which was worrying for me as OB needs a fair amount of preparation if he's going to deal with the arrival of a stranger in the house who actually wants to interact with him. When he goes to his best friend's house it takes him ten minutes to settle in enough to take his coat off. 

Several people I had spoken to described going to a therapy centre where the OT had watched their child use the equipment there and observed them. I knew this wasn't going to be the case with this meeting as there's no equipment at our house! So, just in case anyone reading this ever has something similar coming up and needs to prepare their LO, here's what happened for us . . . no guarantees it'll be the same for you!

When she arrived, OB was installed in front of the TV, working his way through a very crunchy bag of rice cakes. I know. Not his best look. But I wanted him relatively calm as he tends to work himself up waiting for things to happen. After a quick introduction and chat with me, she set about engaging a reluctant OB. 

She was brilliant. I don't know exactly what she did, even though I was right there in the room, but within 5 minutes my boy, who wouldn't even look at her when she arrived, was roaring at her like a dinosaur, joining in with tickling games, and attempting to throw a blanket over her head. She had him playing on the floor and jumping around and laughing as if she'd known him for years!

After about 10-15 minutes of that, we went into the adjoining room to talk, and he busied himself with the TV and occasionally peeping at us through the french windows. She took a history and asked questions about when he sat, crawled and walked. Not for the first time I felt grateful that, unlike so many adoptive parents, I was there for those milestones. We also talked about his general behaviour, areas that I was concerned about, his sleep patterns, reactions to noises, food habits, sensitivity to clothes and a few other things along those lines.

She told me that in the time she spent with him she could see there were some areas for concern, particularly regarding his core strength and stability, sensitivity to touch, and proprioceptive feedback. Apparently we should consider getting a footstool for when he sits at the dining table, some specially-shaped cutlery and a crawl tunnel. That's for starters. There will be more recommendations in her full report, which should be ready in about three weeks.

And that was pretty much it. She will be recommending a course of therapy (with the actual equipment this time!) as well as things for us to do at home no doubt, but the wheels turn slowly in post-adoption world, so the wisest course would be to prepare ourselves for a longish wait and be pleasantly surprised if things move quicker than we expected! 




2 comments:

  1. I was interested to read about your experience as we had an OT assessment in our home too. Ours was similar - balancing on a yoga ball, testing out a weighted cover, pushing against the therapist's hands, recreating pictures of building blocks. We'd invited the therapist to come for lunch because our daughter has some food issues, so she was able to observe a mealtime which was useful. Still waiting for the therapy sessions to start eight months later, but that's another story. Hope yours happen speedily!

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    1. Thanks! Me too! Your assessment sounds a bit more thorough that ours to be honest, but I was happy with what she said afterwards - it chimed with what I'd been thinking and as long as she recommends more input, we can tackle anything else later. And so we wait . . .

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