Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Our first meeting with James's OT

Today we met with James's Occupational Therapist. For those of you who may not know/recall, James was in 5 day/week preschool at the beginning of the school year and his teacher thought he might have sensory issues. I thought that was a bunch of hooey, but she kept harping on it day in and day out, so I decided to have him tested through the school.

It turns out that it WAS a bunch of hooey (and thank goodness we got him out of that class that was just too much/old/overwhelming for him and back into the 3 day/week class that he is thriving in now), but James does have some fine motor skill issues with which he needs a bit of extra help.

His OT started the meeting by telling me what a joy it was to work with James! She found him to be very personable, sweet, intelligent, and just a fun, easy child with whom to work. She was impressed with the width and breadth of his vocabulary and his ability and willingness to express himself verbally. She also finds him to be above average in his pattern making and problem solving skills, and was amazed that he could draw 8 out of the 9 "marker" shapes (all of which are necessary for writing letters) that they use for testing children of his age! She said that he was very sociable with her and she enjoyed having conversations with him... "It's like talking to a little man!"

She did discuss with us her concerns over his hand dominance issue. The issue is that he shows no preference at all.... in fact, he shows an equal NON preference for either hand and a reluctance to cross his midline to grasp something. In other words, if James is sitting in front of a piece of paper on the table, you put a pencil on the right hand side of the paper and ask him to pick up the pencil, he will pick up the pencil with his right hand. Similarly, if you put the pencil on the left hand side of the paper, he will pick it up with his left hand. If you put the pencil in the exact middle of the paper, lining up with his body's midline, he will 50/50 pick it up with either the right or the left hand. If you ask him to draw a big cross on that paper, he will draw the down line with which ever hand he has the pencil in and then, instead of crossing his body and drawing a straight line R-L or L-R in one stroke, he will start on the outside of the paper on the side he is holding the pencil, draw to the midline, switch hands and finish the stroke to the outside.

So... while none of this has anything to do with the original reason James was tested (thank goodness.... I think that teacher is full of hooey and just isn't used to teaching *just* 4's, as the 5 day/wk is filled with mostly much older 4's, 5's and young 6's), I'm glad we had him tested, and that the OT has space to work with James, as I never even thought one way or the other about his hand dominance! I can see where this could lead to frustration in Kindy if it had never been caught, thereby possibly souring him towards school at an early age. *phew* Now, if I could only head off the OTHER 436,784,965 reason he may come up with to hate school in the next 20 yrs or so, we might be getting somewhere!! lol

The OT will be coming to his school and pulling him out of class on Fridays for a 1/2 hour to work with her. This is nice because he is already comfortable at school (his *turf* so to speak) which will make less likely that he will be distracted by new surroundings and more able to focus on what he's being taught. The OT is very confident that we will be able to sort out James's hand dominance issues by early fall, even without her working with him over the summer (they only offer the services through the school during the school year... and she sees no reason for "special" work over the summer).

All in all, it was a very good meeting and we left it with a feeling of (not-excessive, imho) parental pride and not a little relief! It is always gratifying to have people affirm you opinions (high though they may be) of your own child, kwim?

It was a very good meeting. :)

1 comment:

Tracy said...

See?! I told you James is perfect! You really should listen to me more often. I'm very wise. :P