Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Memories explained

So I had a very weird experience this week with my guy. He started talking about memories that happened over 2 1/2 years ago with old hab workers, at old therapy clinics. I am going to tell parents straight up, don't just accept whatever comes your way. Interview your therapists, interview everyone in your child's life. And just because your child is nonverbal, look for clues of a bad fit. I had to "fire" a clinic and their hab program because of how they were treating my child. They were clique-y, they were selective, they were unprofessional, they were too young and not trained enough. It was once a good program and then it went downhill. My son became resistant to going and I listened to his cries and did something about it. So here we are years later and he is telling me about it. I now get verbal affirmation that what I did was the right thing.

The same is true with other therapists. Dawn Winkelmann, SLP and Feeding therapist is also now one of my best friends. But, when I got the call that she had recently transferred into that clinic that I mentioned and had openings, I wanted to talk with her first. I left messages, no one called me back. It was getting close to the first scheduled appt but I refused to go until I spoke with her. My thought was that I knew what caliber therapist I had already, to make a change for my son I had to know I was getting better. Little did I know I was getting a superstar but I would find that out later. She called just days before our appt and we talked for 45 minutes! We clicked, she understood and supported biomed 100%. YIPPEE!! She even knew of Dr. Woeller's work, seeing some of his other patients when she had her own practice in Huntington Beach (where she once again practices for anyone looking for a rockstar speech and feeding therapist!). When she lectures she tells parents about this encounter, about how shocked she was that a parent wanted to grill her. And I was the first parent to do so.

There was a feeling of "take what you can get" back then, for me early on. Services ARE hard to comeby, I understand that as well as anyone. But, I would challenge the opinion that any service is better than no service. Sometimes a bad therapist or experience will do more harm than good. Finding the RIGHT therapist is key, not just finding any therapist. Your child's eyes should light up when they see this person, they should make therapy fun, they should be loving, not cold and dismissive or ignore your child when they approach them. And if your child does not get that "warm and fuzzy", FIRE THEIR ASS! What else can I say? Trust your instincts, someday your child WILL be able to tell you about these experiences, and you certainly don't want to hear about bad memories. I did intervene and I still feel bad about what he did go through until I found out.

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