Raya officially started OT today. The whole OT thing is pretty foreign to me. In some ways it's similar to PT but the goals are very different. Raya's OT goals are all about helping her to gain body awareness and reduce her tactile defensiveness.
I know I keep saying this but somtimes I still have this internal struggle about whether or not Raya really does have issues or if it's just me imagining things or making mountains out of mole hills. Since I'm with her all the time, I'm used to some of her quirky little behaviors so I forget whether they're normal or not. Occasionally little things happen that validate my feelings that her "quirks" are more than just simple little things that will go away on their own and I'm grateful for that because it makes me feel not so crazy.
Okay, so anyway, our OT session today was one of those things that makes me feel better about putting Raya through all the therapies that I drag her to. Her OT started out by explaining a little more to me about what we're trying to do and how to go about it. She showed me some things that we can do at home. Then she had her play with a few different toys and crawl around. We tried to get her to crawl through a little collapsible play tunnel but she wasn't having it. :) She put toys in it and tried to get Raya to get them out, but Raya would reach in just far enough to get the toys out & that was it. The one time she got her whole body in, she totally freaked out and couldn't get out of there fast enough. We had Kaida crawl through the tunnel to try & lure Raya in but she just kept crawling around the tunnel to meet Kaida at the other end.
Then she tried to get Raya to crawl over a bean bag chair that didn't have very much stuffing in it. Raya HATED it. I'm trying to even think of how to describe her reaction because it was more than just a baby not liking something. She was very distressed by it. As strange as it may sound, it was one of those validating moments for me because obviously that's not a normal reaction. I know this one little example might not seem like a big deal, but it's just one example of a whole pattern of behaviors. Raya is a very smart little girl and she has demonstrated that by how well she has learned to compensate for and avoid things she's uncomfortable with.
Now that we're back to pushing her a little more in her therapies, some of those things that she avoids are becoming more apparent and it evokes 2 different reactions for me. One is a reaction of sadness and sympathy for her that her experiences of her environment are so skewed from a normal perception. The other reaction is that I'm SOOOO excited to move forward with therapies and so grateful for the people who have helped direct us to what she needs. She had feeding therapy today too and even though she was really tired and cranky, she was very receptive and cooperative with her FT. It is becoming more apparent to me that it's going to take time and probably a lot of time to get Raya to where she should be, but I'm feeling very optimistic about her ability to get there. We just have to be patient and go at her pace.
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