Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A new transition

(Shirley, Hope's physical therapist, left; Barb, her OT, right)

Hope & I dropped off some presents this week for two very special ladies -- her occupational therapist, Barb, and physical therapist, Shirley.

About two weeks ago, Hope officially "transitioned" from the Early On home program into the school setting, meaning she'll no longer get any therapy at home. It'll all be based at a school about 25 minutes from us. As part of the transition, she also has a new OT and PT. And she's getting one-on-one speech therapy, which I'm really excited about it. All in all, Hope gets two hours of therapy a week. Sometimes I wish it was more but two hours is the maximum you're allowed in the Early On program in our county.

The hard part of transitioning out of the home program is that we won't see Barb & Shirley anymore which makes me sad (thus the "thank you" gifts). When Hope started working with them about a year ago, she barely had any head control, was nowhere near sitting, and the binky always had to be nearby in case of a major meltdown. Today, she's sitting great on her own, getting better and better trunk control, can hold her own bottle and can push a little pushcart thing on her own with just a little extra support. She's come so far.

And Barb & Shirley didn't just help Hope. They taught me exercises I could do to build Hope's strength, ways to maximize her independence and the importance of "play." They taught me that I didn't have to set aside time for "therapy" each day but to just to incorporate certain things into our play together. I really feel like they've helped make me a better parent. 

And they gave me optimism about Hope's future. When you have a child with special needs, you don't take anything for granted. Nothing is a given. I never assumed that Hope would sit, walk, run or talk. Maybe I'm a pessimist. Or maybe it was just a way of protecting myself. But Barb & Shirley always made me feel good about all of Hope's achievements and milestones, no matter how long it took to get there. I'll never forget the day Shirley said Hope was a "mover" and she sees her running one day. I really hope she's right. 

Anyhow, thanks to Barb & Shirley. Thank you for being amazing teachers, good listeners and just compassionate people. Keep spreading that optimism around. We'll miss you!


heidi @ ggip said...

I imagine it is a bit sad having Hope leave the care of her current teachers. Of course it does provide a good opportunity too.

I guess we are spoiled in PA. We get in home services till 3 yo and the hours per week is not really limited. It is interesting to me to see how other states work.

I hope Hope loves her new therapies!!

Lisa said...

It's wonderful how the right therapists can really change how you interact with your child.

Anonymous said...

It's not only the gift of supporting Hope but helping you learn too. What special people!
That was very thoughtful of you to let them know how special they are.
In all the video's I've seen Hopsie looks like a "mover"!
Upwards and onwards.

Misty said...

good therapists are angels aren't they?? i don't know where i would be without ours!

i am sure that hope will gain many more skills with her new 'peeps' :)!

Anonymous said...

I remember a couple of little things that made a difference, too, like Barb knowing how to make bath time fun, or at least tolerable, instead of World War III.

I feel bad that you have to drive so far to school, but it's great there will be speech therapy finally!

Keep up the good work, you two!

Grandma K.

Rachelle said...

I know it's hard to leave people behind that have been important in your child's life. But you'll always remember all the help they gave Hope! Sounds like she has really blossomed under their care. Great Mother's Day montage too ~ sounds like you had a great day!