Baby Tjader's Journey

A life undefined by pPROM, prematurity and Cerebral Palsy.

Why I fired my kid’s therapists August 28, 2013

Filed under: Constraint therapy,Lila,Sunny days — Aimee @ 11:06 pm

Ok, that’s a lie.

Nobody’s been fired, but after some very deep soul-searching and many conversations with her top cheerleaders, I decided to pull Lila out of therapy for the next 30 days. Yep, even her beloved horse therapy. She/we have had a busy summer and soon she will turn 3. The next round of constraint therapy begins Sept. 30. Then preschool starts. Wow, that’s a lot. So I made a very conscious decision to give Lila (and us) a much needed and deserved break. For the next 30 days, Lila will be trading therapy and clinic time for visits to the zoo, water park, Dairy Queen, museum … well, you get the picture. Somewhere  during that time we’ll throw in a flamingo-themed birthday bash for good measure.

As much fun as all of that sounds, it wasn’t an easy decision to make. When  you have a child with developmental delays, you feel like your best is never enough. “I should encourage her to use her right hand more.” “Lila should spend more time weight-bearing and less time in her chair.” “I should get up before Lila to clean the house so I don’t have to do it while she’s awake.” “I should explore more alternative therapies.” Those thoughts — and the guilt — fade away over time. But they never completely go away.

There came a time when I started to feel more “normal” in a clinic or hospital setting than I did out in the real world. No explaining to do. No telling Lila that she can’t jump in the bouncy house with the other kids, or leaving social functions early because my back can’t handle the constant “walking” Lila insists on doing to keep up with the other kids. (God, I love her for that, but ouch, my back.)

Therapists, as well-intended as they are (and we have some of the best), don’t always know what a day in the life of Lila is like. So when they suggest this therapy or that piece of equipment, my heart sinks and my mind races: “How can I juggle the schedule to fit in one more appointment? Where can I trim the family budget to allow for one more thing that our wonderful health insurance doesn’t pay for?” *bangs head on table * hugs my kid * guilt * repeat

I’m at peace with my decision after experiencing a therapy-free life the past week. Mornings are fun and fancy-free. There’s time to drink of cup of coffee while we make waffles (Lila stirs the batter and even uses her right hand). She says hi to everyone at the local waterpark with her Dad. She shocks everyone by getting the hang of this potty training thing. She meets her preschool teacher and checks out her locker … her very own locker! She stays up later because I can’t resist “Mommy, play with me?” coming from those sweet little lips and those big blue eyes.  She samples new fare at Costco where we practice sitting in the cart while holding on with two hands.

You see, therapy is everywhere. Sometimes you just need a break to see it.

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5 Responses to “Why I fired my kid’s therapists”

  1. Jayne Myhre Says:

    Aimee, that is music to my ears–opportunities for “therapy” are everywhere and having time to enjoy and teach your child the little things are what makes the biggest difference for her (and you). The older I get the more I realize that taking a step back once in awhile is what I need to make my best steps forward. You keep loving that little girl the best you know how and everything will turn out.

  2. Sheri Says:

    I love this……you know best Momma!!!

  3. Aunt Teresa Says:

    Aimee, your Aunt, (the therapist), is in total agreement with you. You are such a smart Momma. It will be so good for all of you to take a break. You and all the family take every opportunity to give Lila therapy, and that is the important. stuff. You will all value you interactions with the “therapy guides” after a break and especially with the constraint therapy coming up, everyone needs a step back for a bit. Wish we were able to come to a flamingo theme birthday party. How did that little one get to be three already! Miss you all so much. Auntie.

  4. You have chosen the best therapy of all. Bravo. And enjoy.

  5. Lindsey Says:

    I just wanted to thank you for putting your story out there. I have four children. One 5 year old and identical 3 year old triplets. They were born at 29w 5d. Two have mild cp. One a little more than the other. We are about to start intensive OT (ci like. The insurance will not cover anything labeled ci unless she were autistic). It’s a struggle to know what to do and the constant guilt of always feeling you are not doing enough. In my case I couldn’t devote all of my time to ally jane because her sisters and brother needed care. I don’t know what the future holds for my kids. Even the “healthy” ones. We as moms have to trust in The Lord that what we are doing is enough. Thanks again for your updates. I will try and check back again.


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