Therapy Thoughts--Introduction and Prayer

I'll be the first to admit, I'm interested in much and expert in little.  However, that's not to say I know little.  As far as one can "know" anything, I know some stuff; and, who's really in the mood for an epistemological debate right now?  Not me.

I've long considered writing about Spencer's experiences with speech and occupational therapy, and my experience with it by extension as his mother.  There are many reasons to "share" with friends and strangers, foremost being I would love for our experience to help and encourage people who are in similar situations as well as to answer questions or offer better explanations to people who are completely foreign to our situation.

There are also many reasons to keep this all to ourselves.  And up to this point, those reasons have won out.  Emotions, opinions, and philosophies seem to meld into one single "way" many therapists believe young children with specific deficiencies should be treated.  This wouldn't be that much of a problem, except that while I am able, willing, and happy to bring all of my biases and beliefs to the table when considering treatment options; many therapists are not.  Make no mistake, they do bring all those things to the table, but they don't call them what they are--biases and beliefs.

And, so, you see my conundrum.  To help a child, you have to be honest about what you "know," what you don't know, and what you "believe" (in a broader sense).  This post in particular is prompted by this time of year.  For it was about a year ago that I was first forced to face this clash head on.  I'd faced it many, many times simply as a mother; but typically the encounters regarding what was best for my child in his early years were handled with some degree of sociological grace.  We could agree to disagree what was best for him, after all, he was "doing pretty good."  But, when he ceased to be "doing pretty good," it was as if years of research, reading, and much thinking were all called in to question.  Did the conclusions I drew at that time, before I even knew Spencer, still apply now?

I feel it is "safer" to write a little about our journey now due to our current therapy situation, with which I could not possibly be more pleased or encouraged.

Another reason to keep much of this to myself is that I have many family members who are either therapists--speech or occupational--or have children who have been through childhood therapy situations.  I love my family members, and I want anything BUT the opportunity to offend them--be it with direct disagreement or subtle inference, both of which are bound to occur at some point, because no two people ever think exactly alike.  I also don't want to speak for my family members' whose children have gone through therapy, but I have spoken with them at length and have been much encouraged by their own journeys, so their experience have directly and indirectly informed my decisions.  It just all feels very tangle-y.

Finally, we are nowhere near the end of our therapy journey, and I know I have much to learn.  And there is much that remains to be seen.  But since I've written no less than fifty essays about the therapy culture, in my head, of course, typically while driving or doing other mundane, daily tasks, it's probably in my own best interest to go ahead and write them out--literally "out" of me, so maybe I can go on and write some new essays.  These are getting old to their author.

So, I'll start today with something that will probably offend very few people.  I've often wanted therapists and teachers who work with my children to know that during the time they are working with my child, it is not unusual for me to be praying both parties.  I pray when I drop Spencer off and as I think of him while he's away from me.  I pray that Spencer will do his best, that he'll cooperate, that his little neurons will fire quickly and correctly.  That synapsing would be easy and fast.  That new pathways would be created.  And I pray that the therapist has the creativity, perseverance, and grace to help my child with all of that.  I pray knowing it's more than repeating words and cutting out shapes.  I pray knowing miracles are happening, and God is using them to bring them about.  That may sound overly spiritualized, but I'm no gnostic, so I think it's all connected.  I think without therapy, Spencer would speak very poorly.  Body or soul; brain growth or miracle--both are probably false dichotomies.  So, if you're a therapist or a teacher, know that people are praying for you as well as their child.  If you're a parent, I've probably told you nothing new today.  Maybe next time.

1 comment:

  1. You never offend or alienate me by your thoughts about the therapy community. I love to hear it coming from you...a parent, but also my sister. Keep the blog posts comin'! Love, Nat

    PS- Thanks for making me cry while I was reading this post....I wonder how many of my parents pray while I'm treating their child. We need all the prayers we can get. Lol.


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