Thursday, October 11, 2012

Breaking up is hard to do

One of the (many) things I don't miss about dating is the break-up. You meet someone, let them into your life, have some fun and make some memories. Then one day you (or one of you) realize that things aren't quite working out the way you had hoped and you decide it's time to end things. I have always hated that part of a relationship. Now that I am married and have a family I thought I was done with break ups. Luckily there is no break-up as far as my marriage is concerned, but there is another relationship tha has to come to an end - the one between out family and J's speech therapist.
    J has had his current ST since around the beginning of June. After receiving his PDD-NOS diagnosis, I had decided I wanted to give DIR/Floortime a chance. At the time J was only receiving ST and a SEIT once a week each. As we were approved for an increase to 3 days per week, I also requested a change in providers. We switched from more "traditional" therapists to a team trained in Floortime. We also added on an OT who also practiced Floortime.  J and I quickly developed a rapport with his new teachers, and I found them to be very knowledgeable and invested in their jobs. J really seemed to like them and worked easily with them. As the summer went on and I continued to research, I made the decision to switch to an ABA based program. J started with his new SEIT, JT, at the beginning of September. His ST and OT  remained the same. I definitely see value in Floortime, and I feel that J has benefited, and will continue to benefit, from it. However, my husband and I both feel that he has been missing out on actual speech therapy. His speech sessions have all been FT based, which are completely child led. A majority of the sessions involve us following him around the house and trying to get him to engage with us. While I think that there is a place for this style,of therapy, I also feel that he needs some structured speech therapy. J is still nonverbal, and I want to make sure we do all we can to help him develop language.
    In the past month I have watched J thrive with the structure of his ABA sessions. I was nervous before it began, but he has impressed me with how well he has adjusted to the change is therapy styles. He is no longer trying to leave the room, and is sitting at the table for longer periods. JT has seen progress with his completion of tasks as well. While it may be slow, we are seeing progress.  In an effort to try to have him get more out of his ST sessions, we have decided to switch to a more traditional speech therapist. Actually, we will be switching to one that uses the Verbal Behavior Approach, which is essentially another form of ABA. I am hoping that we can build upon the success he has already had with ABA.

    Unfortunately switching to the new SLP also means losing our current one, which is where the break up comes in. I have really enjoyed working with her, and she has a wealth of knowledge about DIR/Floortime. She works so well with J and he really seems to like her as well. However it has been nagging at the back of my mind that I want to give a more structured form of ST another try. I found myself putting of making the switch because I felt guilty about switching therapists. I struggled with the decision for a few weeks, but in the end I realized that I can't worry about the feelings of others. I need to put J's best interest first and foremost, and do what I feel is best for him. With a heavy heart I made a call to our service coordinator to get the ball rolling for the switch to be made. Tomorrow will be J's last session with his current therapist, and his new SLP will start on Monday. I am grateful for all his current therapist has done for us, and I really feel she cares for J. I am confident that I am making the right decision, but I still feel a bit sad. And I wonder if having all of these people come in and out of J's life will have a negative effect on him. So far he has dealt with all of the transitions excellently. I hope that will be the case next week also.  So tomorrow we say goodbye to someone that has been part of out daily lives for the past 4.5months and get ready to welcome in someone new.  Hopefully our expectations will be exceeded.

1 comment:

  1. He's such a cutie!

    I think you are making the right decision. The previous SLP seems like a very nice person, and I'm sure Jake learned a lot from her, but it's a great idea to try a more structured session. If he's thriving in ABA, that may just be the key for him. Our sessions are very structured, Dylan sits in the highchair facing her, and she follows her program to the "T". There are days he is NOT into it, but he finishes out the session and gets it done. Good luck on Monday, let us know how it went!