Monday, December 7, 2009


Finn had his monthly PT this afternoon. I refused to allow myself to get all stressed out about it beforehand like I did last time around. He's hit a developmental plateau, and I've made my peace with it. For the most part.

Anyway, it went okay. I think Eun wants to respect where I'm coming from with all this, but she's clearly working through her own filter. She's been trained to believe that the more therapy, the better. Just like obstetricians are trained to believe that hospitals are always the safest place for babies to be born. Just because they believe that based on their education and training does not make it an absolute truth.

So Eun kept saying things like, "Kids who are pushed usually reach their milestones quicker . . . but I understand if that's not what you want to do . . ." and "I understand that you don't want to do things that upset him and make him cry, but the truth is, they don't really remember things before the age of three, so . . ." It wasn't adversarial, but I just listened and refused to defend myself. I just nodded a lot.

Here's what I know to be true: Finn is nowhere near walking. I am okay with that. I know he will walk eventually. There is nothing about Down syndrome that precludes walking eventually. Eun may say that kids who are pushed do things sooner, but I know that there are lots of kids out there who get mega therapy, and some of them still don't walk until after their second birthday. Finn is healthy and he is happy. He is loved, and he feels that. We are giving him as close to a "typical" babyhood as possible. That has value.

Even Eun saw that he is able to stand supported and bear weight on his legs - when he wants to. It's not lack of ability, it's lack of wanting to on his part. I don't know what's behind that. I'm not overly worried about it. We'll just keep trying to motivate him. He'll get there when he's ready.

We won't see her again until after the new year, and then Finn's next eval/IFSP is due in February. Eun wants us to think about switching to group therapy at a developmental preschool at that point, where Finn would receive PT, OT and ST at each session. Sigh. I don't know how I feel about it. It's a lot to think about.


Mel said...

We have weekly therapy in a group setting and I LOVE it. I have posted before about how it works, but basically we have a shared morning tea and music session, and then individual physical therapy, speech language therapy, signing with a specialist teacher, and cognitive therapy all individually but in the same room, rotating around stations. What I love about it is all the kids have DS, so we're all 'normal' and I get to meet other kids and parents who Luke and I will be friends with for potentially the rest of our lives. Luke loves it too. Maybe look into it?

Sharon said...

My kids (including my daughter Maia with DS) were also born at home. I think it was such a great way to get to know her and begin our journey. I understand your thoughts about PT, Maia didn't particularly like it when she was little and we didn't push her as much as we could have. Like you, I knew she'd do it when she was ready just like my other kids. We found joining a gym class for kids with special needs motivated her and was more fun but still provided lots of practice with the physical goals she needed.

Kari said...

Hi there! Finnian is so adorable.
Just wanted to share that when my son was a baby I refused to push with the therapy I just didn't have the heart. We did what he enjoyed. He had enough torture seeing Dr's constantly. I think bouncing in his exersaucer was what made his legs stronger. Tristan never crawled but was walking by 18 months and then running by his second Birthday. All with very little therapy but plenty of exercise with Mom. You need to do what feels right for you. Every childs needs are different. Your right he is going to walk and when is going to be up to him. Good luck :)

Anonymous said...

You are right on the mark with this Lisa! The advantage of the group setting is it will feel like play and he will want to do what the other kids are doing perhaps? Inspiration is possibly more important than perspiration...

Cate said...

I completely disagree with her. They don't remember things before they're three? Well, maybe not long term, but they sure do react in the moment, and I would not like that. Push him til he cries? that sounds cruel, to me.

I do think a group setting can be really good.

Leigh Anne said...

i hate when drs say crap like that haha.

ita w/ you that he'll do it when he's good and ready. the group thing could be good. it seems like kids learn lots of new things when they see other kids their age doing it. it could be good for you too, mama :)

Terri said...

My daughter is 16 and didn't walk until she was more than 3--and no one who wasn't there knows that! We did have a group and it was great fun (and we are still friends with all those folks.) Therapy is a tool, not a lifestyle. I am glad to hear you're trusting yourself and him.

Loren Stow said...

You mention the 'want' being missing in Finn's standing - and I totally get that! Malakai has always only ever done what he wants to do. It's almost as if he doesn't understand why he must do something and until he understands why, he's not going to do it!
In my opinion, that's his absolute right! Just like any individual, he is motivated by understanding, and if he can't understand why he's got to do something, then he doesn't (just like his mommy!).
Then - we can't forget that each child has individual strengths and will do some things 'faster' and some things 'slower' than their peers - we can't rule this out with Ds. Finn has strengths in areas that Malakai doesn't and visa versa - but then so does every one of my friend's children!
I think you should continue to follow your instinct and do what is best for Finn.
At the end of the day it is his wellbeing, his feeling of being loved, supported and cheered on that will affect his ability to try and accomplish things later on.
He WILL walk, talk, etc - in his time, and until then, he'll be loved and healthy happy!

heidi marie said...

i think ever kid is different and does things in their own time. and i'm glad you are not getting upset about finn hitting a plateau. i think all kids do. i know henry does. there are times when i think he isn't doing anything new for months and then all the sudden out of nowhere he's doing something new.

and your therapist needs to take a sensitivity course or something. grrrrr.