I will not rant. I will not rant. I will not rant. I will not rant. *Breathe* I will not rant.

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Okay, I think you are getting the picture here before I even start. I’m a little peeved. Now I know for certain that my SLP is definitively not stalking my blog. Because I just remember having a meltdown and stating that I would not be placated by medical professionals again. I’m still not. Yet they still attempt to placate me.

Here’s where I stand on the issue of positivity vs. reality. Balance is the key to all things in life. Have you ever sat down and partook of an evening of Wife Swap? If not, it is a reality show in which they take two extreme families with very serious parenting philosophies and then they switch the mother with the other family. Makes for some fantastic television. The sociological experiment is…what would you learn from your polar opposite? The messy goes to a neat house, the strict mom to a laid back home with little to no rules, ect. Without fail, every single time that my husband and I watch it, he remarks, “That {insert useless drama here} is because you need balance in a family.”.

We are a family that thrives in balance.

We give treats and time-outs. We believe in positive reinforcement as equally as we believe in punishment for ill behavior. Kids only get get one magical childhood so it should be a jubilant time but that doesn’t mean you get to grow up into a little jerk, either. You get my drift. I am the farthest thing from an extremist. I take great personal pride in being able to see all sides in any sort of issue (those of my more loyal followers are thinking, “Duh, how many times do you plan on saying that?”). It’s simply who I am.

That being said, I love a person that is just positive to their core. Bring on the sunshine. I love a silver lining and can truly appreciate the person that brings it to my attention when I’m staring at the storm clouds on the horizon. Is this metaphor becoming garbled? But, and this is a big but, please don’t stand there in the pouring rain and tell me it’s a beautiful day. I am a highly analytical and rational person. I am left-brained to an offensive extreme. That means that while I may be a person that thoroughly enjoys every piece of good news…please don’t even contemplate treating as though I am a moron.

While you all know that my writing skills are sub par at best, I actually was the captain of the debate team (twice) and my research skills are something to be envied. Or not envied if the news is disappointing. I do my research thoroughly and with voracity. Especially since the preemie faux pas that caught me off guard.

Ever since the day that I stumbled upon the realization that all of Jp’s developmental issues could be, and most likely are, prematurity related, I have been on a quest for knowledge on the subject that rivals a law student studying to take the bar. I’m all over that biz-ness like white on rice. What I have found is staggering. The delays, the social issues, the anxiety…it’s all there. In black and white just the way that this Mamma likes it. Just lay all of the information out for me and let me sort and process on my own, I am more than capable. I don’t need Chicken Soup for the Premature Soul. I need cold, hard facts.

Armed with my knowledge, I attended what was to be Jp’s last speech therapy session. I was calm and when she asked what my thoughts were I conveyed, “Upon looking at the facts involved, I still feel his delay is significant enough to warrant therapy. If we reach a point that he will no longer qualify, I will more than happily take on that role, but for now it seems as though -by the age charts alone- he still could greatly benefit from therapy.”

Boom. Short, sweet, and absolutely to the point.

She agreed. What? Why did you get me all riled up in the first place?! Grrrrrrr. Ummmm…what just happened? She explained that she thought I was wanting to take a hiatus since I was so impressed with his progress. Is this why my husband is always complaining about me/women reading too much into everything because I certainly never -ever- said that. I explained, still calm and now actually becoming placated again, that that was certainly not the case and I was happy that this could be resolved so simply. She smiled. Great answer, Dana. Then we started some type of idle chit chat about his progress that ended in me telling her about my research into the aftereffects of prematurity. She stopped me, mid-freaking-sentence to tell me how ‘she worked with lots of preemies and he wasn’t anything like that, he’s doing great and I am sure he will catch up just fine’.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, there lady. Hold your horses.

One, (I always number when I’m angry) I appreciate that you think my son is doing well but you see him for an hour and a half a week. I live with him. There is no way that you are ever going to know a child from the minimal and structured solo interaction that you have with him better than the woman that gave birth to him and raises him as a stay at home parent, okay? The fact that you are telling me about my son is Cuckoo birds. She has literally never seen him interact with another child. She has never seen him eat -or not eat- a meal. She has never stayed up for 24 solid hours with him when his brain won’t shut down. Also? Never watched him cry his way through an entire toaster strudel. Please, please, please don’t tell me about my child. I know what and who he is better than anyone on the planet aside from my husband (You can also tell I’m annoyed by my overuse of italics…).

Second, I have done my research. Which I have to since you refuse to do anything but be annoyingly positive and refuse to address my concerns head on. The delays that he is facing now are a likely precursor to future learning disabilities. That’s not to say he will for certain but why aren’t you telling me any of this? Why do I have to look it up on my own? Isn’t that what you are supposed to do? Not just blow sunshine up my tookus and sell me fantasies of Jp being a valedictorian when that is all incredibly uncertain at this point? Where is the realism? Where is the, “Let’s hope for the best but ____ could be a possibility, too.”?

Third, if I, as his mother, want to bring up an issue he is having with you, why are blowing me off with a “Pee-shaw, it’s all good” answer? That doesn’t make sense. I mean, maybe I am wrong here -it’s been known to happen before- but why doesn’t this woman seem to see that I love being positive but I have to be realistic, too? This isn’t some Case Study for me; this is my son. This is my heart walking around outside of my body. The last time people decided to ‘be positive’ for my sake I wasn’t told about the potential for delays in preemies.

I cried for months blaming myself. I just wasn’t trying hard enough; wasn’t good enough.

Now this woman is treating me like a yo-yo. If I become too outwardly excited about his progress then I must want to leave therapy. If I dare to express any concerns having to do with sensory or tactile issues it’s, “Oh, that’s normal”. Really? You would tell me it was normal if he punched kittens at this point. I am am a perfectly grounded and realistic woman and I just wish she would stop treating me like some sort of hysterical female all of the time. I’m not asking because I want to be reassured…I’m asking because I want to know the actual answer and not some work of fiction.

And before anyone says it, Jp adores her. Looks at her as though she hung the moon and I see absolute magic in that office. His response to her as a therapist is nothing short of enchantment. So no, I wouldn’t switch. Even if I may want to throttle her when she gives me that fake smile and thumbs up. We just may never meet up for cocktails at the end of all of this. 😉

Photo Credit: alisonthediaryofagirl.blogspot.com

Childhood Development Parenting Parenting and Childhood Development

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Amber Perea View All →

I'm just living minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day.

9 Comments Leave a comment

  1. What I’m confused about is why the therapist doesn’t seem willing or interested to hear what you have to say? For example, as a music teacher, I may be the ‘expert” on music, but the parent is the expert on their child. It’s by building that partnership that you discover what is best for the child.
    I think next time you should interrupt her mid-sentence, and insist she hear you out. Arrogance and/or unwillingness to listen are the biggest obstacles to progress.

    • I have no idea…it’s just her style, I suppose. This isn’t the first conversation that went this way, either. Every time it ends with me being frusterated and her acting as though I am being negative (I have eluded to this previously in my posts). I have learned to not even bother talking to her so really, I knew better. When she told me she thought he had autism, in the moment, I couldn’t come up with any questions because I was just in shock. The next session when I had collected myself and was ready to ask questions and have a converstaion she kept cutting me off -repeatedly- and saying, “Oh, we’ll just wait and see.”. Really? You can’t just drop bombs like that and then play keep away with your knowledge.

      Oh yes, I knew better than to even bring it up.

      If she wasn’t such a great therapist I would be annoyed. But while the realitionship between her and I may be nothing short of dislike, Jp worships the ground she walks on and makes insanely promising breakthroughs for her. So…I have learned (mostly) to just keep my mouth shut and watch and enjoy the progress that he makes there. MOST of the time. 🙂

  2. A couple things – this is a private therapist right? If it was ECI, I could understand her jumping at the opportunity to lower her caseload, and to backtrack REALLY quickly if a parent was getting upset at the mention of dropping therapy.

    Next, I think you are AWESOME to be able to communicate your points to her to the extreme that one week she wanted therapy to cease and the next she is fine with continuing.

    Lastly, here’s my funny story (well, I think it’s funny). I gave Noah’s last SLP my blog address multiple times, and I WANTED her to visit it so she could see what we were doing at home. I don’t think she ever visited (I could be wrong). With Noah’s current therapist, I purposefully did not give him my blog address, because I wanted to be able to honestly chronicle our experiences and my thoughts without having to be accountable or worry about hurt feelings. Unbeknownst to me, Noah’s current SLP was given my blog address by the owner of the practice because all my emails have it in their footer, and she and I had emailed back and forth to get the initial appointment set up. After the post about Noah’s assessments, his SLP emailed me and basically explained that he read my post and it was really important to him that I understand that the assessment really wasn’t all that bad and it in no way was a judgment on Noah’s potential. He felt soooooo bad that I came away from the assessment disappointed. Then he also felt like he wanted to clarify some stuff about PROMPT therapy.

    It was just so ironic.

    Blessings,
    Alyson

    • Nope, she’s private. And very well maybe a little bipolar. 😉 Who knows why goes on her mind…it’s not like she’s sharing! 🙂

      Oh my goodness! That is BEYOND hilarious that your SLP not only read your blog but gave you a “pep email”. Hahahahahaha! If mine read mine I would die, I would absolutely die. Hence why I have never even mentioned that I have a blog. Wouldn’t want her to get board and decide to check it out.

      I need a place to vent!

      What did you say? Did you have to “explain yourself”? Because there is nothing I hate more than having to do THAT. 😉

      • Well, I had to make nice. I didn’t really blog anything negative about the SLP, but I know I have mentioned a little reservation about whether tossing out traditional therapy and replacing it with PROMPT versus combining the two is the best choice, and just how disappointing the assessment was in general to me as a mom. The SLP just tried to reassure me and educate me more on PROMPT, but the truth is I’m going to feel things harder than he would because I’m the Mom. I mean, this is my kid, my heart, the love of my life we’re talking about here. And I am going to be skeptical of this alternative therapy especially when there were some things about traditional speech therapy that I thought were really getting through to Noah. On the other hand, I am really excited about PROMPT therapy, because I feel like it is addressing the motor planning aspect of speech that Noah’s old SLP neglected. I’m a wimp and I would HATE to hurt the SLP’s feelings, and I didn’t want him to think I was an emotional basket case or nutso over my kid or anything so I kind of apologized I hadn’t talked with him about those issues. So, yeah, in short, I guess I did explain myself, but it wasn’t like he was mad, just kind of surprised and maybe a little hurt. And, yes, I did hate it!

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