Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Early last year, a woman from my university's occupational therapy department assessed N as part of a general teaching experience at his on-campus childcare center. Then she spoke to me about some of her concerns. This led to a speech assessment, a school-district preschool assessment, an assessment by a developmental pediatrician. All agreed that there are some issues; none agreed on what those were. None was able to even give a name to what we were/are dealing with.

And so, after all that? Those first folks are the ones who are going to save the day.

Tomorrow, representatives from the graduate OT program on our campus as well as from UC Santa Barbara are starting an 11-week 'intervention' with N and one other boy from the other preschool class. Every Thursday and Friday for the next 12 weeks (one week is off for spring break), an OT student (one who will come every Thursday, the other who will come every Friday) plus an occasional OT supervisor will be spending 3 hours per day with N as part of a program "to train graduate occupational therapy students in strategies proven to assist children to fully participate in childcare settings and promote positive social integration needed for successful kindergarten transition." And, as I'm sure I've mentioned before, because I can't believe our luck, it's all free because of the preschool's affiliation with the academic medical center I work at. Yep, I think I can wait until at least the beginning of April to quit my job if it means getting my kid free OT, with a focus on exactly the issues I worry about most!

[For anyone who's interested, they're going to be using "a variety of social skills strategies" including Pivotal Response Training, play-based intervention, occupation-centered practice and teacher training. They'll be videotaping sessions over the course of the program, since this is a training grant they're using to provide the services. Some day down the line, my boy is going to be the spokesmodel for how preschool teams can work with children with social skills issues. Go N!]

The truth is, my areas of concern with N have significantly narrowed of late, and I worry a little that this won't be able to address them. He actually does just fine with his preschool friends these days; has a little posse of kids he likes to run around with at times, though he does still spend some time alone, which is fine, just his personality, etc., etc., etc. The problems are larger groups of kids, which still overwhelm him, and new kids, especially if there's more than one to deal with at a time. Mostly, I need it not to take another five years for him to feel comfortable enough around the kids in his class to have more than one friend, you know? And I don't know how they can address that issue in a familiar surrounding like preschool. But, we'll see. I'm excited nonetheless.

Wish him luck!

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