Saturday, November 08, 2008

Transitions are Hard

Guru, shmuru.

Okay, I realize that is a reactionary response.
Sometimes I have those.

Week One with the new (and not necessarily improved) speech therapist did not go as well as we had hoped.
Which translates into:
Going from two hour sessions to one hour sessions means that there is less time to waste, but Bubbles is fooling around and not working, thus wasting more time.
Bubbles does not like to have speech therapy during his naptime, as evidenced by him sleeping through his entire one hour appointment.
Bubbles does like the guru and guru's office full of new toys. Bubbles likes to play with all the toys. This one, that one, the other one, and on to the next one! (While mama looks on in disapproval.)

The boy is running the show!

After two sessions in which Bubbles was asked to say the words 'push' and 'put in', and repeat the sounds on about twenty cards, and I was unimpressed with the decelerations of the tempo of his therapy, we had our third session of the week.

I walked in with a sleeping Bubbles draped over my shoulder, close to tears because this time frame clearly was not going to work and I had just driven 45 minutes to illustrate that.
"Don't worry," said the guru, "Just lay him down on the couch and we can do parent ed."
I mentioned that I had found some of the $120 worth of plastic straws and whistles and horns she had asked that I purchase. Still waiting to see what I will do with $120 worth of silly straws and party blowers, but all in due time, I suppose.
I looked dubiously over at Bubbles, snoring away on the couch.
"He'll never make progress at this rate! He is being allowed to slack off!"

"You worry a lot about what Bubbles has; just let him be who he is."


"Umm, I think that yes, we worry about what could be, but you don't know what it is like to not know....having apraxia is something we can address....because we know what it is. I am just afraid he is slacking off here - you need to make your expectations clear to him so that he won't try and get out of the demands placed on him in therapy."

"I don't like to demand things from children. I coax them into success."

(aahhh...another Santa Cruz me now) (reactionary again)

"Well, I don't think you know who Bubbles really is. I wonder if you have been going easy on him for my benefit. I can watch him be frustrated, it's okay. He needs clear demands. He has been working with clear expectations - he has been working with ABA and I really don't want to see regression in his behaviors or compliance."

This led to a forty minute parent ed session which began with, "I would never judge a parent for what you have done to help your child," and then a gentle and carefully worded, subjectively judgmental lecture about how we have 'lost time' with the 'wrong therapies' and 'could have diagnosed him earlier' and how 'Bubbles has had demands made of him that he is incapable of fulfilling', but 'not to worry because he can still learn to talk!' etc.

And I was left nearly speechless. Because it feels like, to accept the new type of speech therapy that (someday soon I hope) we will all be using with Bubbles, I am being asked to 'switch camps' and reject the form of therapy (ABA) that has actually worked with him.
That was my 'parent ed' session.
Get on board.
Why can there not be a happy little bridge to cross from one to the other? Why does one have to become 'wrong' for the other one to be 'right' for him now?

And how do you get on board with something you don't yet trust? How do you trust something that has not yet shown you any results?

I am not a 'blind faith' sort of person.

I know it has only been one week. I know that, and this is what I keep telling myself.

But - waaaaaaaahhhhhhhh - I miss our ABA/ECI people already. Bubbles got to see SuperECI yesterday, and he didn't stop talking for nearly two hours after his session. Sadly, he only has one more with her.


Truthfully, I hope that my post on this subject in two more weeks will be more positive.
(See? That right there? Proves I am capable of optimism!)


Tricia said...

That just sucks- If you move forward and go with the new program will you lose time?? Can you reinforce ABA at home and let this other therapy move forward.

Keep the baby and the bathwater- you know?

Just do it all Gwendomama!

And don't forget to hate!

Mama Deb said...

You'll frequently run into these two camps thinking that the other isn't the 'right way.' It is what is ingrained in them during their training, and I think it's almost like having school helps make them more passionate about what they're doing, you know?
But only you can decide which one works best for your child.
However...I, too, hope that in a couple of weeks you feel better about this new approach and see results! Would you ever consider not being present during the sessions? M did all of his private therapy sessions alone since he was two. I found that he did a lot better if I wasn't in the room. Plus, it was a 51 minute break for me!! (yes, 51 minutes, to be exact!)

datri said...

There are a lot of speech people (and therapists in general) who don't like ABA for various reasons. Kayla has ABA at school, but her hippotherapist doesn't like ABA and prefers a more naturalistic approach. Which is quite a shock when you are used to ABA! I don't know if having a more naturalistic approach to speech would be detrimental to the gains made through ABA. (Kayla's just sitting on a horse at hippotherapy, so there's not much task/reward going on)

Personally, with Apraxia, I've always been told that it takes repetition, repetition, repetition to get things working from the brain to the mouth. And when I think of all that repetition, I think an ABA approach would work better.