Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Acting out in Occupational Therapy...

So, today Andy had OT. We missed the last session because he spiked a fever a few hours before our appointment. He seemed excited to be going but upon further probing, I discovered he was only excited because I always let him play his Nintendo DS on the hour drive to and from therapy. Nice.

I was nervous when we walked into the office because the waiting room was PACKED with parents and children. It was extremely loud and over stimulating (even for me!) so I knew it had to be rough for him. Luckily, he was so focused on playing Bakugan on his Nintendo DS that he didn't seem to notice.

They took him back for his therapy session and I was left in the chaos that they call a waiting room.

A few minutes before his session should be done, Andy came running into the waiting room laughing hysterically with his OT Ellen nowhere in sight. This was not a good sign. A good 30 seconds later Ellen came along with a not too happy look on her face. She reminded him that his session was not done yet and he should not be running off without her. He just giggled and ran back with her into the therapy room. Not good.

A few minutes after that his session was finally over. For real this time. Ellen came over to talk to me and Andy immediately began jumping up and down, flapping his arms, making silly noises and being disruptive. I sarcastically thanked Ellen for turning the quiet calm son I brought in to the appointment into this crazed hyperactive boy! (Totally not her fault, but it was nice to blame someone.) As she and I talked, he proceeded to smack her butt, pretend to karate kick her, etc. She calmly reminded him that this was not an appropriate way to get his "wiggles" out, and asked him to put on his coat instead. He politely put his coat on, then ran around in circles and smacked the butt of the poor OT student that was lucky enough to be standing within reach. OMG! I cringed. He was completely on sensory overload!

The OT student politely told Andy that it was not nice to hit. He responded by running to the corner, sitting down and pulling his knees to his chest, burying his face. Not at all awkward. Now, let me remind you, the waiting room is jam packed with people. Ellen goes over to talk to Andy, who is still in the fetal position in the corner, while the OT student tries to comfort me by telling me how sweet my son is. Oh yeah. He's a real angel! (He really is a sweet boy, but somehow that got lost in translation.)

I decided that I should go somehow collect my son to leave. When I got over to him, I heard him loudly tell Ellen no about something. Apparently she had the audacity to tell him he needed to apologize to the student. He didn't seem to care much for that idea. Ellen told him we had plenty of time to wait, and that we could all just hang out together until he decided he was ready to apologize. He told her that an apology was "not in his plan". I secretly thought about joining the crowd of other people in the waiting room, and loudly saying, "Whose child is that?!?!" But I didn't.

I instead told Andy that I would go ahead and have a seat until he decided to apologize. I mean, why should I keep standing? This could take a while.

After contemplating that for a minute, he stood up, said he was sorry, and immediately was ready to leave. I knew it was going to be an interesting night.

When we got to the car, he asked for his Nintendo DS. Seriously? I asked him if he thought he deserved to play it after his outburst inside. He said, "No. I don't think I should." Good. I'm glad we agree.

There is never a dull moment when you live with a child who has Sensory Processing Disorder. I'm hoping someday I'll get the hang of this.

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