evaluations make me cranky in the worst way

Grams couldn't wait to high tale it outta here.  She claims I was ripping her head off.  It was fully unintentional if I was. 

A side effect of stomaching through Trevy's crack of dawn Physical Therapy evaluation, I suppose.  Evaluations have a way for drawing out my cranky.   

The commute gives me a headache right off the bat.  The price of living in the boondocks is that everywhere is a hike.  But walking into a facility that looks more than old and overused.  It's downright groady.  Unclean.  Disorganized.  The gym a tangle of bikes and wedges and balls and mats.  And not in the cute therapeutic way either.  Because none looked like it'd had a bath in over a year.  Everything was so Shagala Bagala...as we say in Swhaili.  Walking into that after having driven 45 minutes through crazy commuter traffic...that's just insult to injury.

I have very little grace for gross.  Especially when my insurance is being billed a hefty sum for my son (and me) to be tortured for an hour.  Seriously...hire a cleaning company, people!  If you can't keep the floor crumb free than maybe you shouldn't be in business.


If we were the last appointment of the day that would be one thing.  But we were the first appointment on a Monday morning!  And those crumbs I just wiped off the bottom of my sock don't feel fresh.  Ick.

And then the evaluation itself.  God...I hate evaluations.  Especially with passive therapists.  Trevor does not respond to passive.  He walks all over passive.  He blows raspberries in the face of passive.  He breaks out the nasty "NO" for passive.  And certainly ain't gonna jump over no stick or pop no bubble with no toes - for passive.  

I try really really really hard not to be a helicopter mom.  Cross my heart. 

I don't wanna skew the results.  But I just couldn't sit there and watch that.  Not for one more bloody minute.  It was like the woman had zilcho clue how to communicate with him.  Like she had never worked with a non-verbalish neurologically interesting child before.  If she weren't the very same PT that was with us for last week's Ortho appointment I would have sworn we were at the wrong facility.  Trevy has come a looooong way over past year and a half...but he still doesn't have the comprehension nor attention for long and complex instructions. 

Example:  Come stand over here Trevor (he's on one side of the room she's on the other) and jump over this string with both feet


You're kidding me, right?   

He might have caught the come and the jump from that direction.  He certainly didn't retain the both feet part. 

And besides...between Trevor over here and over there where she wants him...lives a ginormous foam slide and a very distracting green piano up in that window sill " oooh dare" (Trevy speak: over there) and a Barney puzzle on that table just begging to be dumped on the floor and chairs that when shaken just so make the most wonderful banging noise and sockets to touch (positive spin alert: at least we've phased outta licking the sockets) and doors to slam and cabinets to open...

Don't get me wrong.  She was very kind.  And I'm sure knowledgeable.  Even if she did say he was using his right foot to kick when he only used his left.  But she was trying.  And even ,at one point, whipped out the sign for look while firmly commanding him to look at her.  And she finally started demonstrating her requests for him first.  Along with physically taking him by the hand and helping navigate him from here to there.  After I showed her how we get it done at home.  Ahem...Trevy doesn't really get a choice.  I had warned her that he would need a lot of convincing redirection.  And First - Then verbal cue-ing.

I feel so gripe-y.  Ugh. 

I'm not trying to be gripe-y.  

It just really sucks.

It sucks to watch your child not understand what's being asked of him.  It sucks that the professional seems unsure and unable to draw out his potential.  It sucks to feel stale crumbs through your socks.  It sucks to feel like your morning was a colossal waste of time.  It sucks to wonder if maybe his physical delay is more about his cognitive delay than I've been willing to believe.  It sucks to pep talk yourself that your son is smarter than he just looked in that room. It sucks that he can't assure me himself.  

Moooom...I didn't jump because she was annoying!  Not because I didn't understand. 

You worry too much, Mom.  

See, two feet clearing the ground!  I've totally got it, Mom.

Because maybe he just didn't want to jump.  Maybe he totally understood the command but made the mental choice to ignore it. Maybe he didn't pop the bubble with his toes because he likes to be lazy and not because his brain couldn't process the request.  Maybe he kept stepping on the string as opposed to jumping over the string because his sensory impulse was too great to resist.  


He just seemed so Lost Puppy.

That's our made up name.  For when he's out of routine and unsure of himself.  Trevy navigates the familiar really well.  But the moment something changes (new environment, new song, new person) he gets very confused.  You can see the insecurity and confusion all over his face.  He's a Lost Puppy. 

And the Lost Puppy breaks my heart.  I desperately want him to understand his world.  And not be confused by it.  And it makes me never want to ever change a single thing.  Ever.  But that's not Life.  And that's not fair to Trevy.  He needs to learn to navigate the Unknown too.  He needs to learn how to jump over the rope.  And pop the bubbles with his toes.  And other bizzaro commands.  Because his life will always include evaluations.  And therapy.  

Although...I made the decision we're not going back there on the drive home.  We'll look into other facilities.  We really only have two other options.  But I'd rather get a google degree and do it myself than waste our time, resources and energy going back there once a week.  I can't handle crumbs.  Stale or otherwise.  Nope.  We won't be going back.   

Except to finish up his eval.  

Cause we only made it half way through...what with all the distractions and passive induced raspberries. 

Okay.  I'm done complaining.  For now. 


another mother said...

First off, it is ridiculous that they place was that dirty. That is unacceptable. And it is hard for most toddler/preschool age children to follow complex directions. Their little brains don't process stuff that easily. Now add in that Trevy has had half his brain removed and his little mind is trying to reorganize and build new pathways . . . well it seems that the physical should've know all this. But what do I know? I'm just a mother ;)

happy's mommy said...

It really was that dirty. No exaggeration. And this is the rehab center affiliated with our local Children's Hospital. I've heard others rave about how wonderful it is...but I couldn't get past how dirty & unkempt everything looked.

This is probably where I should admit that I vacuum my own home at least once daily. I don't like crumbs. :)


Like I said...the therapist was very nice as a person. But she really seemed to not know how to work with Trevor. She never got down eye level with him and told him what to do in simple clear terms. She did eventually start acting out what he needed to do. Which was a nice effort. He just was too busy looking around the room to pay attention. I worry that his scores will be lower than they should be. I also worry that maybe he really didn't understand. Ugh.

Mostly though...I'm just tired. I feel like such a big baby for complaining that it's exhausting. Because we ALL have lives that we live. But it just seems to drain me more when I have to do anything doctor-y. IDK. Could be mental.

Thanks for reading, Another Mother. I always appreciate your thoughts...


Andi S said...

Good for you. I wouldn't go back there either. Please, say something to them about the cleanliness. Just call and be as anonymous as possible and let them know. It's possible that their cleaning staff sucks and no one has ever mentioned it. Doubtful, but possible.

The PT, yeah, I would have at least asked to for someone else. It might be worth it to just forget this eval and try it all over at another place.

I hate eval days too! Emma never does what we know she can, even if she does it before and after the eval. It sucks, but we get through it. That first eval sucks the most. After working and working, the next one sucks, but at least you know the PT "knows" Trevy and what he can do, even if he doesn't do it on command.


happy's mommy said...

You're so right, Andi. The first one is always the worst. Probably why I've put off any evals since Trevy aged outta EI!


Jacob's Mommy said...

To be honest, our rehab experience in the same tangled gym was not unlike what Jacob gets through EI except we got to have more of it when he really needed it. We also went for an OT evaluation there and I decided not to go back because the therapist had NO concern for Jacob's safety. She sat in a chair waiting for him to manipulate toys that he had no interest in as he walked around the room and nearly killed himself tripping over everything. She was only interested in his hands. By the way, would Trevy use a scooter with assistance? It's one way to work on weight shifting. We have also used a monkey board with Jacob, with assistance, where he teeters from side to side, again weight shifting.

Sophie's Story by Elaine said...

Ugh. I can't stand dirty. Especially since Sophie is SOOO oral sensory seeking. Hugs.

Margo said...

Complain away my friend!
Dirty and disorganized = no credibility! There's no excuse for that.None.
We visited a "special" preschool once for W and it was like that not to forget unsafe and I was like no freakin' way as soon as I walked in bc of that.
Can't they do the eval in your home? Or at Trevy's school? Cause really...bubbles, string, balls, etc are portable. And break it into time slots. Like 30 min at a time...which is still alot. There's got to be a way they can come to Trevy!
We had a 2 hr eval for W with an OT who is the local sensory celebrity and he scored as low as one possibly could. Broke my heart. Cried the whole way home. Which we paid out of pocket for $1200. To have another OT say that her technique is very old school and there's no way our son was so behind.
My point in my ramble.....it's a bit of a grain of salt thing....it's all dependent on Trevy's mood and comfort level...that cannot be disputed!
Hang in there, honey.

Anonymous said...

So with you, hate any assessments our kids have to go through - the first major one henry had I cried all the way home, she said such negative things about him and wouldn't allow for any flexibility in her testing.
I've get harder about them but still hate them.

And as for the dirt - yuck! (and I'm not a daily hooverer but still..)

kt x