Thursday, June 24, 2010

Our Visit With the Occupational Therapist

Let me start by saying that I think this OT went into this appointment just assuming that Selena was either autistic or OCD. She spoke so slow to Selena, giving her only one direction at a time, and actually talked to her as if she was younger then she is. I could tell by the way that Selena was responding, and her composure that she was not impressed with this OT at all.

She asked Selena to see that we all had a plate, bowl, glass and spoon. Selena in all her politeness agreed to do so and passed out the dishes starting with me, then the OT, then herself. I was pleased to see that Selena remembered her manners! The OT made a remark that Selena was TOO polite. I almost felt like she thought I had prepped Selena or something. At this point Selena looked at her, and decided she didn’t want to stay at the table and got up to leave the room. We told her she needed to sit down. She did.

The OT started with putting a few goldfish crackers into a bowl and again asked Selena to pass out the food. Selena handed me the bowl, then the OT, then took only one cracker herself. The OT told her she could have a few more, so Selena took two more. Just so you know that Selena’s response to passing out the food was the same through out the session. Again the OT made the remark that Selena was too polite. I guess Selena should have hogged all the crackers.

Next came a snack that looked like green beans. Selena’s response was very interesting. She acted like she didn’t even want to touch it, let alone don’t ask her to eat it. She wouldn’t even smell it. Nothing was said about this reaction.

Then came some soft banana snacks that reminded me of marshmallow. Selena tried a couple, but then wouldn’t eat any more. You could tell by the look on her face she did not approve. Now she likes banana, but she didn’t like these!

Then came the apple slices. Selena asked if she could cut them, which the OT said sure and let Selena cut them into pieces. Selena passed those out. The OT at this point asked Selena to smell the apple, no problem with that, then she asked Selena to rub the apple across her teeth in a brushing motion. Selena did, but with a very funny look on her face, almost as if to say you are ridiculous. It was at this point that Selena was beginning to have enough with this stuff and began to fidget and roam from her chair again. In fact she asked me if we could just go home.  The OT announced, this is something we will be working on, making her stay seated in the chair. The OT asked me if this is something she does at home, and I said no, she sits fine at home.

Now she asked Selena to lick the apple, Selena did. Then she asked Selena to hold the apple in her teeth. You could tell that Selena was getting disgusted with this game but cooperated. Then Selena had to bite through the apple and let the part drop on her plate retaining the bite that she took. Selena did, and chewed the apple, with a look on her face, like this is not right. The OT told her to chew, chew then swallow, Selena looked at her and said in a very disgusted tone, “You chew, chew and swallow!” At this point Selena is reaching for the water to rinse her mouth. Now I am trying not to laugh. Selena definitely thought this lady was a little off.

Now we moved on to pudding, Selena surprised me when she chose the vanilla pudding over the chocolate pudding. That would not normally be her preference, so I think she was playing the game now! She didn’t take very much pudding, and continued to play with it using her spoon. Then she was offered a vanilla wafer, which she took, but left sitting on her plate. Now Selena likes vanilla wafers, so I know she caught onto the game this lady was playing, and in no way was she going to cooperate any more.

Now came desert, she pulled out a banana flavored yogurt bar that looked like a rice crispy treat. Again Selena wanted to cut it up, and was allowed. The OT asked her to break her piece up into pieces with her fingers, which Selena did. She asked Selena to smell it and lick it, which Selena did, but Selena refused to eat it. At this point Selena turned to me and asked, “Grandma may I get my shoes and go home?” The OT asked her to clear the table, which Selena said ok, and did. The OT asked me if Selena always asked to go home like this. I said, “Well, yes especially when it is close to lunch or nap time.” Then the OT announced she was sending more profile questions home with me, as she feels there might be more going on then just texture sensory.

That was our visit to the OT. Now let me add that Selena cried all the way home, she was begging, “Let’s go home, don’t turn around, let’s go home!” We had to go up the road a ways from the OT’s office to turn around as I could not go left out of the parking lot. Selena informed me, “We are not going back in the Dr’s office.” I had to stop and get gas, and Selena again informed me “Don’t turn around and go back grandma!” Then when we got on the Freeway Selena started crying and begging to head home.

I know that Selena did not appreciate being treated like a baby, the mannerism of the OT, and her techniques even made me feel like she thought she was talking to a very young child. When Papa asked what we did at OT, Selena grabbed her corn chips and crumbled them into pieces on her plate at dinner time. She thought it was funny to take a bite of her hotdog and let it fall to her plate. We told her no she would not eat like that here at home so she stopped. I don’t know at this point that we will be going back. I believe this OT just assumed that we were sent there as her pediatrician wanted her seen for autism or something more then what it really is.

I am thinking I might call and talk to her about this, as well as talk to our Pediatrician, but I am not sure I want to take Selena back, especially if she is going to have the reaction that she had after we left. Get this when the OT wanted to examine Selena’s mouth, she told me, that she was fearful to as she didn’t know Selena well enough and felt that she would freak Selena out. I told her well don’t ask me, ask Selena if it is ok to look in her mouth, I am sure she will let you, come on she is intelligent with a mind of her own, and can tell you if you can look in her mouth or not.

Needless to say I was not impressed not one bit!

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  1. That really does not sound like something to bother with again! You were a good deal more patient with the OT than I think I would have been :)

  2. Poor Selena! That just sounds like torture! I think I would call the pediatrician and explain it to her. Maybe there is another OT you can see or maybe Selena doesn't need it at all!

  3. I still think a lot of the activities were great for working on the texture issues from my understanding of therapy, but I think her general approach to the whole thing was atrocious.

    I'm hoping you find a better one soon.

  4. I agree with Leah - I don't think this OT will be helpful in any way to deal with Selena's texture issues. I am sorry that you had such a bad experience, and I think your pedi is wrong for not setting the right expectations with her. I hope you will find another one if you still want to pursue this.