We had yet another occupational therapy evaluations last night for Ayden. We've been on the waiting list for quite a while for this appointment so it was nice to finally get it taken care of.
Evaluations have never been easy for me. For those that haven't been through one of these wonderful things, it usually involves sitting around a table asking your child to do simple tasks that tell the evaluator what skills he or she has. They are looking for the "age" at which the child is testing, so they will start with easy tasks and keep adding more difficult tasks until the correct age is found. I usually leave these evaluations feeling sick and very disheartened. It's difficult when your child has delays and you are forced to see exactly how far behind they are written down in hard copy. For example, at Ayden's FX Clinic visit last year he had an OT evaluation done and in one area was functioning at a 28 month (~2.5 years) level - Ayden was almost 4 at the time. Words like "some problems" and "definite dysfunction" litter the pages of the results. It's not easy, but it's the way things are. You have to have a point to start work. You need a delay to get service. I understand all this, but it still breaks my heart each and every time.
Last night though, was much better. Instead of walking us to a room with a little table and chairs, we were escorted to a sensory room where the floor was covered in pads. With a swing. And trampoline. And tons of therapy balls. In fact, this room was off to the side of a larger room that was stacked (quite literally) with all kinds of sensory and physical therapy activities. The first thing the OT did was put him in a swing, then she started doing those activities I talked about above. The entire evaluation was littered with deep pressure activities to help calm him down and check his physical development as well. And Ayden? Instead of breaking down into a sobbing, screaming, mess by the end because he'd been pushed so much - well, he was running around, laughing, and playing. Did I mention this evaluation took place over Ayden's normal dinner time? And that it's currently Spring Break here so his schedule was already a bit messed up? To put it mildly...Ayden did amazing. Most of that because of the OT performing the evaluation.
The best part though for me came at the end. I normally don't even address Fragile X right away with therapists because I get blank stares or those "I am pretending I know what you're talking about " nods. (I of course bring it up later with hand out materials included). This OT though..she knew. Not only had she heard about FX and had a basic understanding of it - but she has actually worked with FX kiddos before. I about fell over. Great with Ayden, good at her job (she actually read though the chart ahead of time and did not re-ask the questions we filled out), AND worked with Fragile X before. I haven't been this excited about a person that was working with Ayden since our Early On occupational therapist. I'm very excited for things to come.
As for the evaluation itself. Ayden has picked up a decent amount of skills in the past year and his fine motor is progressing (certainly his worst area outside not talking). Mr Awesome and I are both very pleased with the progress.