It has officially begun. Not summer, yet, but our break from therapies. I felt like they were handing us the Golden Ticket when D1’s OT said, “You guys need to have a break. Enjoy the summer together as a family and don’t worry about therapies. You deserve it.”
Ten years. 10 years of OT off and on, speech therapy on an ongoing basis, PT part time… it’s all just so… weird to think about right now. In the past parents have said to me, “Wow you have your hands full. I couldn’t do that.” But do what? Drive back and forth and sit in waiting rooms? Lots and lots of waiting in waiting rooms. Going to therapies has really just been a way of life for us.
There were times when we were there three times a week. Others when it was only once, but for 2 hours. Sometimes only D1 was taking therapies, and other times both were. People have asked why we do it. Some parents, homeschoolers who don’t want anyone else’s influence on their kids and don’t think anyone else needs to help them, REALLY don’t understand why. The reason is simple, however: I want my boys to be as successful as they possibly can be.
They were born with big challenges in their lives. Drug affected brains don’t operate like non-affected brains. Certain synapses have to be taught to connect. Muscle groups have to be taught the proper way to move. Sensory systems need help learning what to tune into and what to ignore. These aren’t things that my boys would simply outgrow.
Developmental delays and sensory dysfunction are both in the category of hidden disabilities. You can’t tell there is anything wrong when you see my kids… at least, not at first. They both “look normal”. That’s because they are. And normal, for them, is a bit different than normal for other kids.
For the first time, we get a break. They get a break. The years of early intervention are just about over. Karate, bike riding, and swimming will take over where physical and occupational therapy left off. Afternoons will be unbroken by my hurried yell to wet, playing boys, “Dry off quick! You have OT in 5 minutes!” or “Why are you muddy?! We have to leave RIGHT NOW!” There will be none of that. They can play.
They can just BE.