Category Archives: Occupational Therapy

And Another Waitlist Bites the Dust! Occupational Therapy in September

Remember this guy? Portrait of an articulated skeleton on a bentwood chair

He’s a favourite of mine and you’ll see him in many of my posts about waitlists because to me, he is the embodiment (or unbodiment) of what it is like to be on a waiting list for services. It seems that waitlists are just part of having a special need. Well, he can take a little break. After waiting about a year and a half, we got the call that Angel will be getting Occupational Therapy at school. Of course, this call came with only 3 weeks left to the school year, but it’s still an improvement.

I received a call from the OT yesterday that she was going to go to the school this week and meet Angel and send home all the paperwork. This means that she’ll be able to start OT in school in September. Finally.

Angel’s speech therapist called yesterday too. She said that Angel had been doing well in their time together and she sent home some exercises for Angel to work on over the summer so she doesn’t lose the progress she’s made. We are getting somewhere now.

We’ve talked with the new principal and were informed that they don’t like to do IEPs for grade 1s, but that she would have one for grade 2 next year. They have been making accommodations for her anyway, but I’d like to have something more formal in place.

Anyway, as we say goodbye to our latest waitlist, I invite you to sing along….

Occupational Therapy Discharge

It has been a long time since I’ve updated and the main reason is that it has been crazy around here!  Over the last month, 3 different members of our extended family have been in the hospital for a variety of reasons (everyone is doing fine now).  On top of that, the routine of school and work is keeping us all on our toes.

Be that as it may, it’s time to do some catching up.  Angel finished her brief intervention clinic for handwriting before school ended last year.  We had our last reassessment with the OT around August.  For the most part, Angel met her goals.  She was able to print letters (upper and lower case), button, zip, and use snaps.

What I’ve found is that although she can print the letters, Angel has trouble putting them together.  She likes to print words and will often copy words or sentences, but the letters don’t tend to match up as words.  One of my favourite things she’s printed is a card that she made for me.  It started “To Mom”, then she asked me to spell each word from a phrase she learned in OT, “The quick brown fox.”  That was all that fit on the outside.  On the inside, she wrote a jumble of letters that I should have recognized, but didn’t until she told me what it said.  Here’s what it looked like:

Angel's printing
For those that don’t have 2 pre-teen girls in the house, it says, “Justin Bieber”.  Angel thinks he is her boyfriend, so I guess she is practicing writing his name.  She copied it from a birthday invitation she received.  As you can see, she does a fairly good job with her upper case letters.  We have managed to tame her excessive use of extra lines on the letter E for the most part.

Other things our OT recommended were hand exercises (she shakes when printing, so they think she may need to strengthen her hands) and general strengthening exercises to help build Angel’s large muscles to help her to print.  One suggestion was wall push-ups.

When all was said and done, Angel was discharged from the program.  It was a combination of aging out and receiving the maximum services for OT allowable.  We received a referral to a fitness club through the clinic and Angel is still on the waiting list for OT through school.

The brief intervention clinics were a big help for Angel and she’s got the basics of printing down.  We are definitely getting somewhere, but we will need to be doing a lot of printing practice to help Angel to improve.

Angel and Her Special Dad

Fathers Day

I wanted to show you one of the cards that Angel made for her Dad for Father’s Day. Yes, I said one of them. She actually made 3 at school. This one is my favourite though. I love it because I know how much effort my little girl went through to print the message. She’s been working hard on occupational therapy in her printing class and it is paying off.  You may notice that the Y in Happy looks a little off.  Angel told me that she had to X it out because it wasn’t right and she fixed it below.

Knowing how hard she worked on printing this, it shows me how much she loves her Daddy. He’s the one who has been taking her to her printing class. Daddy is the one who gives her big squishes when Angel needs sensory input. He’s the one who rough houses with her when she needs it and the one who can get her to calm down.

Daddy is the one who has extra patience when it comes to Angel. Angel knows that she can push Mom’s buttons and get her upset, but Daddy is usually the one it doesn’t phase. They get each other. Daddy struggled in school with learning disabilities, so he really gets where Angel is coming from.

Don’t get me wrong, they but heads a lot too, but Angel is truly a Daddy’s girl and he’s more than OK with that. I love to watch them interact. Angel will often bring a book and climb into Daddy’s lap. Sometimes he reads to her, but she’s starting to read to him now too!

This is one of those cards that we’ll be holding on to for those days that aren’t so smooth so we can pull it out and smile.