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Old 08-20-2009, 02:25 PM
 
1,688 posts, read 6,881,299 times
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I'd be grateful for any feedback or opinions about the situation I'm about to describe. I'll try to keep this concise.

Let's call child "Annie". Annie is chronologically 7, the eldest of three. Her mother - let's call her Babs - has worked tirelessly with this child. On a "severity degree scale" (if one exists), I don't know where Annie's level of DS would fall, but I'd guess somewhere in the moderate range: she can recognise words (we think), some speech is clear and some isn't, she does puzzles, she loves finger play games and pays attention, she loves pushing things through slots and will work patiently until she gets it. As I says, Babs has just worked and worked and worked with Annie since she was born.

I don't know where Annie would test for a mental age, but on an emotional level she seems to be somewhere about the "terrible twos" - she's become negative (everything is "no") and has had a number of real doozies of temper trantrums (formerly none). At other times she's sweetness and light....

Now the crux of the matter: a couple of days ago Annie wents for her regular therapy session - whether it was speech or some other sort, I can't remember, and it doesn't really matter. Annie enters room and there's a new person in there with the therapist. Regular therapist says to Annie, "Say hello to Chrissy, Chrissy is going to work with us today." Annie looks at Chrissy, looks back at the regular therapist and says, "No. I don't like her." Fast forward to the end of the therapy session - therapist comes out to Babs and informs Babs that she (therapist) "is deeply, deeply upset" with Annie's attitude to the new person. She feels Annie is trying "to control" her. She's not sure she wants to continue working with Annie.... yadda, yadda, yadda. Babs is upset and embarrassed and then to top it all off, the therapist doesn't see something coming and walks Annie straight into a temper trantrum.

Now, to my untrained in special ed/therapy mind, this is seriously messed up. Say you go to a two-year old and introduce a new person. An average two year old hasn't the vocabulary to say, "Nah, I don't think I like you, so bugger off." The average two year old, if shy or unsure, merely hides behind legs or does whatever it is two year olds do (which I honestly can't remember!) to distance him/herself. Annie has the vocabulary and used it... So the therapist is distraught because a seven year old with Down's didn't like her colleague?! The therapist feels that a seven year old with DS is trying to "control" her?!

My quip was it was no flipping wonder Annie and the therapist in question didn't seem to be making progess; they seem to share the same emotional age....

If I were in Babs's shoes, I think I'd raise a stink about a serious lack of professionalism - for this is how it appears to me - as well as finding a more emotionally mature individual to work with the child. But I'm just wondering if I'm just "out of touch" with how these things transpire these days....

Thanks in advance for any input.
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Old 08-21-2009, 08:47 AM
 
Location: following the wind of change
2,279 posts, read 3,490,385 times
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Oh man, oh man...I'm with you OP.

If that therapist would say that to me about my child, I would say "And do you have autism too? Can you not see that she might be prone to say things out of boundaries due to her condition?" Even a typical 2-year old would misbehave or say things like that. If that therapist doesn't recognize or can work with Annie at this point, it's going to be a rocky future for the two.

My son is high-functioning and he has misbehaved in the past with his OT. I picked him up, and it was at that time when he was grouchy and tired. He had back to back therapies, though, 3 total so he would be grouchy at one point. Towards the end, he was uncooperative with the last one and was throwing fits and even hit him (therapist). I was mortified and apologized profusely, and sternly reprimanded my kid. But even the therapist didn't say "I'm so offended he hit me, I don't think I can work with him in the future, blah blah". It's because he knows that kids are kids, and kids especially with a neurological disorder, are at some point, bound to do something inappropriate.

It would totally ire me if that happens to my kid, with in Bab's shoes. And yes I would say something about it. That's why we are adults and they are kids---there is a difference.
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Old 08-21-2009, 09:10 AM
 
Location: TN
264 posts, read 731,721 times
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I would say if she doesn't want to cont. to work with the child, that may be a blessing. It doesn't sound like she is the right therapist for Annie. Were I the mother, I would def. be upset.
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Old 08-22-2009, 03:44 PM
 
1,688 posts, read 6,881,299 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alicejb View Post
and kids especially with a neurological disorder, are at some point, bound to do something inappropriate.
Isn't that the definition of a child - i.e. duty bound to do something highly inappropriate and/or downright mortifying?!

I guess I have always thought it's the adult's "job" to point out was is inappropriate and correct (especially in this context). It's not to fall into histrionics and/or emotionally charged scenes.

Thank you both for your replies. I can't see anything good will come of prolonging this association either, but I need to try to find a way to put that across to the mom without it coming across as interfering. *sigh* Easier said than done.
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Old 08-23-2009, 05:27 PM
 
Location: following the wind of change
2,279 posts, read 3,490,385 times
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Ah well. You recognized it and you have the best of intentions for your friend. With that, I am sure she will appreciate your thoughtfulness.

But I really think it's critical that any therapist that works with your (or mine or etc) child should have that chemistry with him/her. Otherwise it's an uphill struggle and any lessons she tries to impart might get lost along the way of misunderstanding and sometimes, drama.

Good luck FiveHorses. Know that you are being a good friend to "Babs"
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