Friday, January 10, 2014

Breaking up is hard to do.

"Oh my god. I'm rambling here. I feel like I'm dumping you. It's just that we need to take a break." I said.

"Breaking up is hard to do." she replies.  She tries to sound positive but I can tell, she's upset too.

A conversation I had recently that made me so nervous my palms got sweaty.  I'm glad it was over the phone so she didn't have to see me squirm and I didn't have to see the look on her face but her tone of voice spoke a thousand words to me.  It was a long time coming and all the fingers were pointing that this is the direction our relationship would take.  Part of me was trying to bargain with myself.  How could I make this work? Eventually I had to get over the denial and accept the fact that we were ending private Occupational Therapy services for my son.

What?  You thought this was going to be a much steamier post didn't ya?  Get your mind out of the gutter.  My mom reads this.  (Hi Mom!)

It is a little strange to me ending any kind of therapy for my kiddo.  I'm kind of what you would call a "therapy/services whore".  If it was offered, we'd take it.  Well within reason.  (Usually financial) I never argued with a school for less.  I was like that disco hit "More More More".   So for as long as we could swing it and as long as we thought it was needed, the kiddo also got private speech and OT.  When folks want to know why I never had another kid, well, therapy was our other kid.  That stuff ain't cheap.  Even with insurance.  Our plan seemed to think my kiddo only needed thirty visits a year and then his autism would be all gone.  Strangely enough, still autistic Blue Cross Blue Shield!  Imagine that! So out of pocket is a way of life in our house.  We also do music therapy which the lovely state of New Jersey won't even recognize as "real therapy".  I still have to pay for it with "real money" despite that.  Good times I tell ya.  Good times.

About a month ago we were asked if there was anything OT wise we wanted to work on and it led to some serious thinking on our part.  We really couldn't up with an obvious list like we had in the past.  One where I walk in there and be like "OH MY GOD!! What can we do about this?"  The kiddo is nine.  Things seem to be leveling out in this area.  Some things he still can't do but we're at this point where we have to pick our battles and we have managed to find ways around it.  (i.e. shoe tying. Screw it.  We tried.  We cried. We bought slip on shoes and a lot of Lock Laces. We moved on. Everyone is much happier for it.)

I also started to see some therapy burn out on his part.  He was tired.  Especially by the end of the night that this appointment is on.  He would hit a wall usually during the appointment itself.  He would be absolutely overtired whiney Good Lord when is bedtime pass me the melatonin and a corkscrew exhausted when he got home.  He's been in some sort of OT since he was 22 months.  The steady progress he was making kind of just stopped.  Maybe this is as good as it gets?

Cost.  Yeah this played a roll in this choice and it sucks that it does but that's this life.  Our rates went up.  I guess you could say this was the final nail in the coffin.  At what point can you justify spending so much money on a therapy that's not really doing much for your kiddo.  Other than he enjoys the therapist herself and using the tire swing.  I can bring him outside to our own swing. BOOM! OT in the backyard and it didn't cost me anything.  Maybe I could invite her to come visit us?  She might come.  I got a pool.

So that's the story.  She understood.  Being the professional that she is, she offered to write a social story for the kiddo to explain when therapy will be stopping.  She gets this will be a BIG DEAL in this house.  He's read it a few times now and seems to understand the change is coming in a few weeks.    She of course reassured me that if we need to come back, we can.

I hope she doesn't mind patting my back and saying "There there" when I cry on the last day.  I'm going to miss her.  She really did an amazing job with the kiddo.

Seriously, I got a pool Miss "S".  Anytime you want. :-)


  1. There you go on earth do you manage to get inside my head?? :) I wish I had thought to put in a pool when R was younger. Tee hee.

  2. This post is so timely for me. We just stopped OT too. I feel so guilty but at 4 he is working on things they haven't even started in the classroom, we just added a new social group, and at $130/hr I just couldn't justify it anymore. So, why do I feel so horribly guilty?? And like your OT said, we can just start up again if we need to. Somehow I just can't shake the feeling I am depriving him. Ugh.

  3. Hello This is Keegan again from the Sluis academy. What are your plans for your kiddo now? are you going to have him see any other specialists? the rising costs definitely justify not going to OT.

  4. We don't have the financial issue (because we are so broke that anything not covered is out of the question) but the time commitment is killing us. We were so blessed to get into ABA covered by a DARS grant, so now my mild ASD girl and severe ASD boy have stuff nearly 10 hour days, every day. School at 8 for one, OT at 8:15 for the other then school at 9, I pick them both up from school early to go to 4 hours of ABA 4 days a week and we don't get home until 6pm every night. I'm trying to remember what a huge blessing it is and that it is only for a little while, but dang it's tough! If it wasn't all or nothing we would do less, but that's how it is. I totally understand being a therapy whore, it breaks my heart to wait on some services because there is just no time left in the day! Anyhow, thanks for letting me rant. It's a tough life but at least you guys understand doing absolutely anything for your kids.

  5. We went through the same thing, it was for scheduling reasons more than money (SC Medicaid covers all autism related services so I've never paid out of pocket for anything) but I felt like he had got all he was gonna get out of it, and he no longer smears poop on the wall (apparently it was sensory issues lol) As much aswe miss her, I don't miss the meltdowns when we got home

  6. We also stopped OT when my son was 9 (he's 10 now) for many of the same reasons you list above. One day the therapist asked us what we wanted to work on and we really couldn't come up with anything. We would go to therapy but we were tired and it became a chore. He really enjoyed social group but insurance stopped covering it so that was out. He's actually at a pretty good place right now. I'm thankful for the therapy he had in his younger years but I feel like taking this break is right for us.