Thursday, January 8, 2009

Therapy Waiting Room

One of my first pieces of advice is in regards to the Therapy Waiting Room.

At first, you will dread the room. It is where you first make your entrance and see all of "those children". The ones that are in desperate need of help. You will sit there, holding your little one on your lap and anxiously await your child's session. You go back & watch as they evaluate the child. Then you get all the info & find out you will be making many a trip back to that waiting room. When you first start therapy you want to watch everything they do with your child. You want to observe so you can duplicate the toys, exercises, equipment needed to help your child. I don't know about any of you, but I took notes in my little notebook. I would also try my best not to intervene & let her "get out of" her exercises. You will learn to trust the therapist with your little one & see they are capable. Then, one day, the therapist will suggest you sit out in the WAITING ROOM while your child gets therapized (my little word for it).


That is what I thought. Then, I found out she did a little better without me there. She learned to not be dependent on me for prompts. She got comfortable & came to love those special people.

And there I sat in that WAITING ROOM.

Slowly, my eyes were opened. "Those children" were just like MM. They needed the extra help to function in this world. "Those children" had mommies & daddies just like us. They were just as nervous, anxious, unsure of the rest of the day, let alone the future. There were also the parents who I looked up to. They were the ones who had an older child. They had been down the road, making so many trips. They knew where most of the bumps & roadblocks were. They appeared to be able to navigate the new potholes that crept up with grace & finesse.

I actually began to enjoy my time in the waiting room.

Let yourself make friends with the other parents of SNKs in the Waiting Room. They are valuable resources. Sitting out in the waiting room while your child gets therapy is wonderful. First, let them take care of your child for the 30-45 minute session so you get some "down" time. You don't have to be back there for every session. If I don't feel like talking to anyone, I bring my laptop and am able to get a lot of things done. Second, talking to the moms in the waiting room teaches you so much. They have been there, done that & have all the tricks to getting you access to local services. Third, it is very therapeutic for you. I find it to be a mini psychotherapy group many a time. They are in the same boat as you and REALLY understand.

It is that camaraderie I have come to enjoy, even look forward, as I take her to therapy week after week.


* ~ *Jessica* ~ * said...

We have come to love (and hate) that waiting room...

Colleen said...

I have a blog award for you.

Colleen said...

I always have mixed feelings with waiting rooms. I have had those all eyes upon me times...and those enlightening new friends times, etc.

Glad you are enjoying your time.

kristi said...

When TC was attending OT, I would sit and watch the whole session. I couldn't help it!

therextras said...

This is good advice, MM. There was this HUGE national push to treat children in 'natural environments' and the idea of out-patient pedi therapy was nearly gutted. The social interactions you described became unavailable for mothers, often home alone with a sick child for the first time.

Thankfully, the pendulum has swung toward parent choice on where to receive some services. Barbara