Wednesday, January 11, 2012

11:366 (let it go)

(I wanted a short, more to-the-point, title for this photo-a-day I changed it)
Today is therapy day.  Wednesdays Calvin has OT and ST and today his PT came to evaluate and check in.  Her name is Becky.  Becky has not seen Cal since his IFSP review at the end of September.  In fact, we recalled her last visit was the day I first brought Cal to the dr for his pneumonia/bronchiolitis illness.  She did not get to see much of him so she enjoyed watching him today. I will get back to this...

I must say that even though I do not shout out all my thoughts on here, I have many of them.  I will share where I am at because I am happy with it.  I am proud of myself.

For a long time I have felt pressured to do more with Calvin (not pressured by people, by myself and my own concerns).  More as in therapy/teaching/guiding kind of stuff.  There are many great parents out there who have many more therapy visits per week, many checklists, and many daily goals.  I am not one of them.  I live my life with Calvin basically as I do with Evan and Nolan.  I call this "meeting him where he is at".  It is a motto I learned with my jobs as a parent educator in Head Start, a resident counselor at a girls group home, and now as a school counselor.  I meet people where they are at and then go from there (or at least it is my goal to do so).

Anyways, I am trying to keep this simple and to the point but it is hard with so many factors!

On Dec 23rd I brought Cal to the pediatrician for his ear-tube pre-op physical.  His doctor, who basically just met Calvin, was asking me about his therapies.  She invited me to bring him to the Courage Center:  What is the Courage Center?  Oh, that is our therapy center affiliated with the clinic and hospital.  Some parents like to have other therapists evaluate and provide different or additional therapy.  You could probably bring him in once a week.  Thank you, in all honesty, I am comfortable with where Calvin is at and besides, I simply do not feel like I can add more to my plate.  I will not hesitate if either of these things change.

There you have it.  I am comfortable with him and I'm too busy the way it is.

However, I did run this by Becky and asked for her opinion.  We revisited the phenomenon of "medical model" vs "Birth To Three (B23 I am going to call it) model".  Basically, the medical model pushes more therapy than the B23 model with the foundation of belief being B23 teaches parents what they can do in their home and the medical model is doing it for you.  I am sure there is more to it, but that is part of it.

Becky said that there are therapists who believe, based on what they see, that people with Ds develop, in the same pattern, the same skills as babies/children without disabilities, it is just that it is slower.  Now, given this is typically true, then why not sit back and enjoy the ride?  That is what my approach is with Calvin.  Now, if he had other challenges, I might feel differently.  If he was older and had more to learn, I might feel differently.  But for now, on day 11 of this year, I am sitting back and enjoying the ride.

I am not pushing Cal to cruise furniture or walk.  I am just not that parent because I don't want to.  Call it lazy perhaps.  I would rather cook or clean or play hide and seek the jungle animals.  So, as I am seeing Cal start to do this (see pics) I know it is not because I have been pushing him to do so.  It is because he is ready for it.  As I see him up on his hands and knees more, I am reminded that many children who army crawl first will develop a 4-point crawl, and Cal might too!  I love that I am not responsible for all of it.  I could not handle that pressure.  Cal might not walk for a year (that is what Becky said she'd expect) and I am cool with that.  I think that would be a nice Christmas gift! PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket
Besides, I'd rather elicite at photograph the true feelings children display towards their mother:
(Ev wanted me to take a pic of the tv, which had a tiger chasing some animals.)
"People with Down syndrome are always so happy!"  I look forward to that extra gene starting to fire ;)


  1. Yes, what a great post to remind me I should enjoy the ride more. You may be waiting a while for that "happy gene" to start firing because it is really still not here in our house yet...she is so crabby a lot! :)

  2. I remember when Judah was that age and going through all of that. My wife stressed over it more than I did. Judah never did the four point crawl. He went from trench (army) crawling to walking. We thought he'd never walk, but he did. It was such a huge milestone for all of us. Life is too short to stress over what else we could be doing. I agree with your approach, it is much the same one we took with our little guy. From my experience it works better for us to treat Judah just like we treat our other two kids. They're kids first.

  3. You and I must subscribe to the same philosophies. I've never heard of the "medical model" vs B23. But I am definitely in the B23 category I guess. I hear about so many parents who go through so many therapies and we only have one every 1 or 2 weeks. And honestly that is enough. Between the different doctor's visits, swimming, playing, working and living our lives it's enough. I work with her at home but it's definitely more purposeful play than super structured therapies. And so far she's showing me that she does things when she's ready to as well. I think Calvin looks awesome! What good strength to be pulling himself up like that!

  4. It is so nice to read about other parents on the same page. I seriously don't know how people manage 3-5 therapy sessions a week! We are on the one a week program, each therapist once a month, and exactly how you described the B23. It works great for us, and like you, I mostly let Evan do his thing. Keep up the good work, Calvin!

  5. We are more on the B23 model as well. I do push Hailey some, but I pushed the boys some too. I'm not super structured...we are more purposeful play. I have 2 other children at home. I'm not sure how to fit more in than we already do. We have therapy once a week with EI and then once every 2 months we see private therapists. They concur with EI so I guess that is a good thing. I love the scowl! I get those frequently :-)

  6. Oh, how I needed to read this today. You have no idea. Levi's 18 mo. eval was yesterday and we were looking into doing more therapy...mainly because of the pressure I put on myself. I am really going to think this through and REALLY appreciate your thoughts. Thank you.

  7. HA! This is EXACTLY what I have been struggling with lately, I thought I was the only one who thought this way...I may be brave enough to post about this later today :)

  8. You are by no means lazy my dear! I have seen first hand how much energy you put into your children. I think you are aware that we as parents cannot control everything our children learn and when they learn it. We can bring structure to their lives and hope that it will lead them in the right direction. Life should be enjoyed as we only live once. You are sticking with the enjoyment part, I say go for it! Proud of you as a mom, sister, daughter, wife and friend.

    1. Thanks Melissa, that is very sweet! All the comments are great, I was not expecting to strike such a chord but I am not alone, I see.

  9. This post couldn't have come at a better time for me. Now that Ben is one, he has access to more therapies i.e. music therapy and a play group. I made this big chart to try to pick the best time to schedule these things. But between the driving and all the other stuff we do there would be no time for life - no time to enjoy Colin and Ben. So I said no to adding these extras for now. I often worry about not doing enough but I now think there is a down side to doing too much. So, what I'm trying to say is that you are doing exactly what Calvin needs right now!

  10. I'm glad I came across this post. I always feel like I am not doing enough but at the same time am mostly comfortable with what we are doing. I enjoy Luca as he is. His twin is already trying to walk and into everything and I can't imagine if both of them were doing that! I don't have the time or the childcare (have 3 other kids) to have Luca in a lot of therapies! Thank you for putting your thoughts out there!