Please note, I would never ask a therapist, teacher, ESP or doctor/nurse work during this unprecedented pandemic. However something is happening to families whose child has special needs and we have to talk about it.
Bridget is very lucky. She has forged relationships from her first ever therapists (SPT, OT, PT) through her most current ones. Like parents, these therapists feel helpless during this pandemic that have left them home and our children without any (or limited) education and therapy.
Two of them that I admire most asked me recently to start a dialogue. How can they help us help our children. One previous therapist told me, I worked too hard with Bridget we are not going to let this pandemic break her.
The problem is, I am not sure what question I should be asking or what skill I should be focusing on.
How about you?
Do you feel the same?
It is so isolating, this pandemic. We went surrounded by care to being left alone without a schedule. Into week three (for Massachusetts), I am sure I am not alone to feel like I am not doing enough for my child.
I’m trying but I am also working.
I’m trying but I am also not a teacher or therapist.
So what should we be asking our team so while we might not replace them, we won’t undo all their hard work?
I will start, here are just a few of my questions:
- How do you get Bridget to sit at the table and actually work?
- How do you ask the “WH” questions in a fashion that she knows the question you are looking for her to answer? (For example, I’ve learned that asking What is the girl wearing is not the right question. Asking What does the girl have on her head works a little bit better).
- You’ve told me she can count to 20. How do I get her to count in the correct order? (Not, 1, 3, 2, 4, 5… she gets to twenty but not in the way I learned to get there)
- You’ve told me she can read EdMark. How do I get her to read for me?
- You’ve told me she can write the answers on the worksheet, yet she does not know how to spell the Illustrator’s name. How do I make her successful at home like she is with you? Yes, I know I’m the freaking trigger.
- I appreciated the OT tip to have Bridget cut up junk mail to work on fine motor. But I don’t have the same scissors you have, so she looks like Edward Scissorhands and we are afraid she is going to cut her other hand off.
- We are working with balloons to increase her hand-eye-coordination. What else should we do for adaptive physical education?
- There is no pool, so that is out. What can we do in the bathtub to work on hydrotherapy skills?
- She is on her toes, constantly. The weights are not working. What else other than cuing can we do?
Okay now you’re turn…
They might have thrown out our IEP service grid, for now. But I have a physical therapist and a speech therapist (and I bet I can get Amy our long-lost and severely missed occupational therapist) willing to help answer your questions. I also think I can guilt an ABA therapist and friend to join in. Let’s work together to make sure that loophole our children fell thru has someone catching them on the other side.
I encourage you to ask your questions here, because I bet other parents have the same concerns. Feel free to message me to connect you directly, if privacy is a concern, and I will pass your message on.