Tuesday, November 17, 2015
A tough call I didn't have to make
It was a tough choice to make. There's a local speech therapist I've wanted Max to start seeing. He receives speech therapy at school and once on the weekends with someone excellent. But Max needs all the talking help he can get and I thought adding another therapist to the mix would be good for him; every therapist has his or her own tricks and skills. This one is pretty popular, and a slot had finally opened up in her schedule on Mondays at 5:30.
At first, my concern was how I'd get the baby and Max there. Then Friends @ Home started. Run by The Friendship Circle, the program involves teens visiting kids with special needs. Max has had different friends over the years, and I found out the other week that he'd been matched with someone great once again. Mondays was a good day for this boy, and the only possible day for Max because of his other therapies.
But: What about the speech therapy?
But: What about his social life?
As always, the siren call of the therapy was strong. Speech is one of Max's greatest challenges. And he really, really wants to articulate words. For most of Max's life, I've focused on getting him as much therapy as possible. Yes the therapists make the sessions fun. And Dave and I show Max a good time on weekends. But for sure, his social life is lacking and I felt awful at the thought of him missing out on a new friendship. When you have a kid with special needs, it's really hard finding the balance of therapy/medical appointments/just letting him enjoy life.
So I decided to split the difference: two speech sessions a month, two Friends @ Home visits. Still, I wondered if he should be doing more speech.
Yesterday, as darkness fell, I drove Max to the new therapist with the baby in tow; Sabrina was home with our babysitter. It wasn't that hard handling both Max and Ben as we walked from the parking lot to her office because Max mainly needs assistance walking up stairs and there were just a few of them.
As the therapist tried to elicit mmm's, ahhh's and ha's from Max, he kept yawning in her face. I stifled the impulse to joke about how she was boring him.
"Sometimes, the act of trying to make sounds can make kids yawn," she noted.
But as Max kept it up, it became clear that he was really tired. And that starting a speech therapy session at 5:30 was probably going to be too much for him. So we decided to wait for a 4:30 appointment to open up, and that she could see him when she had availability. And she kindly offered to share some thoughts with his other speech therapist and his music therapist, too.
And so now Max gets to hang with a really nice teen boy on Mondays. A decision was made for me, and it seems like the right one. In other words, party at our house!