The day after school was closed for dangerous wind chills, we had our appointment with the occupational therapist on the other side of town. Luckily the roads were clear but DH had been in the office trouble shooting a software upgrade till the mid hrs of the am so he was pretty wiped at 8 when we had to start rolling. It was just me and Max then. I had told Max that we were going to visit another Ellen at her work and that she wanted to play with him.

To make things a little complicated, he had spent the night with MIL as they were off on another trip this weekend and she wanted the time with him so the no school worked out for both of them. However, it meant that I had to pick him up early to get to his appt. AND she had told him he was going to see the dr. (Noo no no no nOOO).

Luckily, he listened to ME and not to HER and I was able to tell him truthfully that he was NOT seeing the DR and I didn't know WHAT MIL was talking about on the way there.

He had a new stash of webkinz, courtesy of MIL, which he brought over with us. I did not want to cause waves so I let him bring his whole bag of 6 in. (SIGH). We took some pics while waiting.

Ellen called us in and she and Max got to know each other. She had him sit opposite her and she whipped out the sheets. He recognized them right away ("oh, the shapes one!") and the 2 of them worked together while she had me fill out a new 6 page survey.

Apart from the requisite copy the shape and cut the line/shapes, they worked with blocks, (she had him copy her 3D design)strung beads and finally she had him mimic her poses, which were kind of complicated toward the end. He got all except the last 2 which involved some weird winding upside down inside out of the hands and arms.

Then she had him play with legos and blocks (she asked which and he said both) while she went through my questionnaire. She told me that he was within the normal range for everything. A little high on the sensory but she said the picky eating was consistant with 66% of kids and the tags on clothes (which I told her he last complained about once in Nov) was not anything really, because it seemed to bother everyone at one point or another. Also, when I told her what Max was eating - fish, meatloaf, chicken, bread, rice, fruit, she did not think he was a picky eater. She then said he was on the low end of normal for the cutting, which I had mixed feelings about. I knew he had difficulty holding the scissors correctly but THANK GOD he was in the normal range. She did confirm with Dr. Z (family friend) that it was typical for 4 yr old boys to be at this level of development for cuttting - girls were much more mature on that end and this was what she and Dr. Z both termed as neurologically immature. Basically, he will get it eventually and many boys are at the same level. Same with the penmanship but she again said Max was normal and was impressed he could write his name.

She did say that he had trouble distinguishing straight lines from diagonal lines, (triangles, crosses etc. ) which again, went along with the neurological development of 4 yr olds. She said this was typical.

I questioned why his teacher was so fixated on the cutting (basically questionning his success in kindergarten next year if he couldn't keep up) and she said it was a self image thing. Kindergarten is the big cutting year. Then you pretty much abandon it for the rest of your academic life apart from a few projects here and there. She gave us some excercises to work on.

She said that the new term for sensoriy integration was sensory processing and that if anything he was very, very mild. She said he seemed to be coming out of it himself without any therapy. She observed he already had established some coping mechanisms. She also noted that the motion sickness (now he takes dramamine when we travel) and the auditory sensitivity were all in the same area (the ear), which was interesting.

She said that he easily breezed through most of her "tests" and he gravitated toward stuff he could do well (the blocks). He chit chatted with her throughout and she also told me, which I had never realized, that he talks a lot when he is nervous (he had a running commentary with her at the beginning, which she thought was interesting). She also told me that she didn't understand why the teacher referred him and had me repeat 2xs WHAT she was expecting from her (a prescription for her to follow at school that may involve jumping up and down or brushing him down with a brush to work on desensitizing him and also help the synapses connect was what she had told me she had to do with kids in the past). She said she would talk directly with Max's teacher and tell her he tested normal in everything and we were working on the minor things at home. She also said that she was confirming the neuro pyschologist's report (which the teacher had kind of dismissed - she had kept saying that there was something wrong with Max but I think it comes down to the low muscle tone = tired, low enduance, no grace thing she was complaining of).

She noted that the main thing that seemed to be at the core of all the concern was that Max had a low muscle tone. (Thus the tired/ low endurance thing). She said people are born with high or low - it DOES NOT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH FOOD ((mom)) and that if anything, it has to do with when he started walking! He started walking early - at 9 mos. He pretty much skipped the crawling, which I guess is where you strengthen the shoulders, abdominals, back, neck and arm muscles. So this has affected him up to now. She told us to get a hippity hop ball and have him sit on it, bounce, etc. when he is watching tv. This would strengthen his abdominal and back muscles. She loved that he was taking karate! She said we could come back in 4 weeks and I did not have to bring him. I think she just wanted to see if there was any change with the excercises.

So I was very pleased and called DH right away to tell him all was well. Maxtor is NORMAL!

When we were leaving, Ellen was leading us out and she waved to us.  Max stop, paused, looked at her and said in a woeful voice, "I will miss you!" Everyone turned around and looked at him, smiled and giggled. It was pretty funny. He was serious! I am glad he had fun. It was a relief for me.

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Feb. 2, 2008 at 10:21 AM Isn't it strange how involved a teacher (doctor... etc.) can get involve with your child's develpment and stress you out? I didn't go through the gravity of your situation with how many appointments you had to take, but I sorta understand what you're trying to express. When I found out my daughter is normal from speech delay, I was sorta upset at the doctor for even mentioning she was behind. But at the same time, all the experience has made me aware to look at my child a bit more closely. But not to close, or I'll get a head ache. What do we do know that it's all over with? Celebrate our children's NORMALITY! Give yourself a pat on the back for taking care of him when he was inside you, when you gave birth to him, and when you tuck him in at night. You are doing ALL that you can do.

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Feb. 2, 2008 at 2:36 PM wow, i dont know the whole story w/why max had to see an occupational therapist.  but i'm glad he's NORMAL!  so no more appts?  btw, i wanna thank u for ur comment to my journal.  i can see how u can relate.

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Feb. 2, 2008 at 11:26 PM WOW!  Sounds like it was a great relief and maybe even some least for Max!  Interesting about the motion sickness & stuff, as well as the comment about Max's teacher's self image!!!  hehehe

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Feb. 9, 2008 at 11:27 PM Oh, thank GOODNESS Max is NORMAL!!!  That's GREAT news!  I think the teacher has been a little (ok, a LOT)  hypersensitive about Max's development.  From everything you've described, he sounded exactly like a NORMAL kid.  At least now you know there's nothing to worry about and your son will be FINE.  Great job,  Mom!  (((hugs)))

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