Sunday, July 8, 2012

The OT Report

Integrated Listening System Therapy
Image by zirconicusso

A month or so ago, we had E. evaluated at MOSAIC, a physical and occupational therapy center in Seattle.  He has a number of physical issues that we've been concerned about for quite some time, and it was thought that they might be related to some of his other sensory challenges.

Last week, I finally received the full report.  It was huge and heavy, and I was worried just looking at it.  After reading through it, I felt like I had gone a few rounds in a boxing ring.  I felt overwhelmed, blindsided, and frankly, kind of sick to my stomach.

Nothing works the way it is supposed to on this kid.  Nothing!  How can everything be so goofed up?

Some of the highlights from the report:

  • He has very low muscle tone, resulting in little trunk strength.  This is one of the causes of his difficulty with bicycle riding.  This is also reflected in his clumsiness, awkward gait, and even his difficulty sitting upright for any length of time.
  • He has something called asymmetrical tonic neck reflex.  This is a reflex that is supposed to go away when you are six months old, and it causes a lot of problems if it doesn't.
  • He relies almost entirely on visual stimuli for his balance.  If he closes his eyes, he basically falls over.  My mother hypothesizes that this is why we have such trouble getting him to wash his hair.
  • He has severe deficits in practically every sensory category.
He'll be starting occupational therapy in August.  He is supposed to go twice weekly, and he's going to be using a program called integrative listening system (iLs) therapy.  This is a great blog post on the subject from Hartley Steiner, over at Hartley's Life with Three Boys.  I'm very interested to see how the system works, and hopefully it will make his life easier.

Have you had experience with this type of therapy?  What has your overall experience been with occupational therapy?  I'd love to hear your stories!  

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