My younger son receives Occupational Therapy (OT) in school each week. He has alot of sensory issues, gross and fine motor skills to develop, and of course tons of energy. His school OT is a good professional and very creative. She makes him work hard too – which he doesn’t always appreciate 🙂 .
At the last IEP meeting, the OT tells us the following story…
The OT, in preparation for our son’s session, “messes up” her room, turning chairs over, moving desks, taking books off the shelves and putting them on the floor. She does this so that she can ask our son to put everything back when he first gets to the room. This gives him some deeper sensory stimulation and helps him calm and focus himself for the work ahead.
Our son, walking into the room, says “What happened! Why is the room so messy?”
The OT tells him that an elephant came through the room and moved all sorts of things around – she needs his help to clean up. Our son, suspicious that an elephant didn’t reallycome through her room, but willing to play along, gives her a look and then starts to put things back where they belong. After half-a-minute he stops, cocks his head, and says “I have something to tell you about the elephant and how he came to school to mess up your room.” Clearly he has concocted a story to help explain this strange occurance.
The OT, wise to my son’s story telling stalling techniques, tells him that now is not the time to tell stories, now is the time to work. My son tries again with no success. Eventually the room is put back to rights and they begin a more traditional exercise. My son is a bit perturbed but settles in.
At the end of the session my son is preparing to leave the room to go back to his regular classroom when he turns at the door. “I want to tell you a story,” he tries again. He is determined to tell a story!
“What about?” she asks.
He pauses for dramatic effect then raises his eyebrows. “About the CRAZYOT,” and placing hand on hip he grins and says “and YOU are the OT!” Satisfied that he has made his point he flounces out of the room (as best as a first grade boy can flounce) and makes his way back to his classroom. At this point in the story we all laugh, shake our heads, and agree that our son has quite a personality and flair for the dramatic.
Thank you to all of the crazy OTs and STs and PTs who work with our crazy kids and us crazy parents. We couldn’t get through this without you. Thanks for pushing us a little farther so that we can all achieve our best – especially when the elephants charge through our lives.