- Loses track of belongings
- Poor motor learning
- Poor handwriting
- Works excessively slow (or too quickly)
- Easily distracted
- Cannot make numbers in a column
- Awkward use of pencil
- Overly dependent on teachers and/or parents
- Fearful of unfamiliar situations
- Seems to have difficulty “growing up”
- Poor organization
- Difficulty skimming page for information
- Socially uncomfortable
Children’s Special Services, LLC is child centered and family focused to provide the maximum benefit to the youngster experiencing some “snags” in either their motor, cognitive or social development.
Questions Parents Ask
If my child gets therapy, won’t the school will assume there is something wrong with them and equate this with low intelligence?
A: Getting help for a bright child keeps them from becoming discouraged and defeated. It also breaks the academic mindset that “if they only tried harder, they could do it” dispels the myth that LD children are just “willful.” A competent therapist will communicate to the classroom teacher just what and why certain techniques are being used so that this can be replicated in the classroom to help ensure increase productivity and success.
What if I get my child help, and they still have problems? Won’t I make things worse if I get accommodations and school issues persist?
A: No! Your child is smart enough to know something is not “quite right.” Your child is smart, she already feels “different.” With the learning service specialist, set realistic expectations for yourself, your child, and the teacher. Ask about what and how long a particular intervention is projected to take. Emphasize to the child that this is not something that is going to be necessarily fast, and that it is not being done to them but with their full cooperation.
How do I answer my friends and family when they say that I am over-reacting? They tell me that I should just let my kid be a “kid,” that they are bright and I shouldn’t “stir up stuff.
A: The “stuff” is already stirred. Getting help for your child HELPS – period. Old stereotypes and clichés die slow and hard. Your friends and family that would say these things are speaking from their own fears and misconceptions. They have not participated in the meetings, they have not read the reports, they have not talked to professionals, and they have not seen the daily turmoil your child is in. Don’t listen! This is an informed decision that you as a parent have made after careful considerations and consultations; and in response to your child’s expressed (physical, emotional verbal) discomforts.
How do I include the educational setting in the therapy process?
A: Good communication helps to make the teacher feel like an intrinsic part of the academic team and an enabler for the child’s success. Since it is, by law, the job of the school to teach, then help the teacher teach. If therapy is undertaken with an awareness of each particular school’s mission it will only enhance the success of all involved–the school, the teacher, the therapist, and most important the child.
Competence is self-perpetuating.
What should I expect from therapy? When will I notice a change?
A: You should expect therapy to be like any new experience for your child. If they adjust easily to new situations then the start will be more spontaneous than for the child who resists change and/or new situations.
Expect stops and starts as therapy progresses. Your child knows they are being brought somewhere to fix something. Although they may want it “fixed,” they may resent having to need any type of intervention.
Support the therapy process by explaining why they are going. Do not make it a discussion. This was a decision you made after careful consideration. Do not bargain. This is not negotiable. For therapy to work, the process is initiated in treatment and supported at home. “OT homework” should be taken as seriously as school homework. Progress depends on commitment.
Changes will be subtle at first. A child who comes to therapy with three shirts on may reduce the need to be covered, indicating a normalization of his tactile system. Another child who is generally a couch potato may want to go out to play; while another who is clumsy may be demonstrating more agility.
Progress is often met with resistance on the part of the child. This stranger, the therapist, is asking him to give up a way of doing something, however maladaptive, and, on faith, try something new with only the therapist’s word that it will be worth the effort to learn and use it. Traditional learning is hard for these children. They have had problems with it, and now this relative stranger is asking them to learn something unfamiliar in an unfamiliar way in an unfamiliar setting. WOW!!! This is very threatening to your child. And when threatened people react with rejection, anger and fear. Your child is no different. That is why your support is vital to the success of therapy.
Why is my child a whiz on the computer, but can’t do work in class? Why not just give him a lap-top to work with instead of paper & pencil?
A: Computers are useful tools after the child has attained adequate in-hand manipulation skills. These skills can only be acquired by using one’s own hands, and putting your forefinger on a mouse, or moving a joystick or an adapted keyboard cannot replace the agility learned through “old-fashioned” play: jacks, finger painting, hand looms, lacing crafts, etc. Computers reinforce straight-ahead, focal vision-play and not peripheral vision (surrounding side stimuli). A child who does not develop this at a young age may have difficulty picking up on visual cues in the classroom, i.e., blackboard work, the following of sequences and visual tracking.
Why isn’t my child having fun in OT, like he did at the beginning? I want my child to be happy!
A: There is a difference between happiness and fun. Fun does not add to one’s abilities. Happiness is intrinsically related to the attainment of skills and subsequent feelings of competency; which in turn increase one’s emotional security. The path to this security is often hard won. Your job, as parent, is to keep them motivated through this unfamiliar and challenging process.