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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

How do you break up with your kids therapist?

The school year has hit us full force. This Tuesday we begin our third week of a full time public school for both my boys (which is my excuse for not having written anything lately, don't worry I plan to get back on it!). J is doing well, as I predicted I'm having more issues with his "NT" brother than him. Long school days are blessing and a curse, the days are busy but quiet and productive, the nights are harried and busier and that's what brings me to this topic.

J's schedule is INSANE! I wake them up at 6:30am. We do breakfast, grooming and we're off to school by 8 (OK closer to 8:20 most days). I pick them up by 3:10 and we're off to ABA by 3:30. He has ABA till 6pm and then he comes home and we do dinner, grooming and the bedtime ritual. By 8 o'clock some days he's asking for bed. He has one day off a week after school (during which I try to get in a play date for "social skills").

I'm having an issue with Wednesday's. We started private OT March 2012, mostly to get a grant to help pay for the private school he didn't end up attending. He did need help with some things that OT's specializing in helping with. He has a lot of trouble with three point pencil grasp, dressing himself (zippers and button's mostly) and he does a lot body crashing. So even when we decided not to purse the grant I decide to keep the OT appointments going. The OT is closer to his old school and she had a slot right after school, that was then. Now she has no appointments that don't interfere with either school or ABA and we have to ddddrrrriiivvvvveeee forty minutes to get there (vs. coming straight from his old school). On days when he has OT, we have school, a short ABA session and then the OT. I begged for an appointment that didn't interfere with either school or ABA, but she just didn't have it. Plus the way our insurance is set up every dollar we spend on OT takes away from our ABA funds!

this is my idea of teeth gnashing.
Oh the agony
So after much hand wringing and teeth gnashing the hubby and I've decided to cancel his OT appointments but dam if I don't feel like shit doing it. The hubby's says to me, "well whats more important, OT or ABA?" Honestly its a clear choice, ABA! I know he needs more occupational therapy. I know he could really benefit from more time with her but I just can't do it! I'm so sick of the scheduling, gas money issues, the rushing, the driving. I just feel stuck. Truth be told with all the frustrations with scheduling I like the occupational therapist. She is good, enthusiastic and really knows her stuff. In the last four (almost five) years I've meet many, many, many a therapist and a good OT can be hard to find!

those two big cogs are my sanity our
budget, both being pulled in a million
directions, both essential to every
other smaller cog.
Tomorrow is D-day and I'm still reeling on how to do this (or truly if I should). My logical mind knows in the past we've relied on school OT (yeah and look where that's gotten us). I know it's hard on us in gas, time and my patience level (which is at an all time low these days). The hubby and I have always agreed to do everything we could for J while keeping our family in tact. Keeping our family in tact means keeping my sanity intact (which is a big cog in our family wheel) and trying to keep our ever so slim budget on track. These OT appointments strain both but I still truly wonder how do you break up with your child's therapist?  

When we left his private school I wrote them an email to tell them I wasn't re-enrolling him. There was a natural break where we chose to renew or not to renew every year but with OT it isn't like that, it is basically an ongoing service (at least in our world). So I've decided to go to his next appointment and let her know in person. I think that's the least I can do and I'm sure as a professional she'll understand (at least I hope so), heck it may be nothing to her. I know she has other families that want that spot. If I've learned one thing from having an Autistic child its that you don't burn your bridges with providers. I hope this OT understands, in this case it really is ME and not her, but who wants to hear that crappy break up line! 

REALLY, we love you as an OT. It's me, not you!

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