Elias, just over two years old, is just now getting occupational therapy. There's a lot of reasons, both political and social for the delay in services and its been frustrating to say the least. I'm grateful though that I have an education degree and 6 years experience under my belt to have compensated a little for this lack of support.
We recently got to know a gal who attends our ward (congregation) who is a student at Midwestern university for Occupational therapy. I told her of my frustrations and she mentioned that she might learn more in her classes that might help me out. Well, she did more than give me info, but brought our names to her professors for Eli to volunteer in their OT lab for the other students to observe and work with him. I was thrilled and since the beginning of June through to the mid July, we will go twice a week to have what I call "learning time" with our OT friends!
As an educator I was always big on working with my kids to learn and reach their potential. Now as a mother of three (and one more on the way) I still reach for that ideal but find myself straining to do all the things I want to do with each of my children, let alone my boy with DS. Eli naturally takes more of my attention and time, and yet I want just as much to spend time dong ABCs or crafts and books with the older two. There are some days that I am just too tired to 'help' Eli feed himself with the spoon or a fork, or to help him go through the process of helping him pick up all his toys when his sensory needs dictate throwing is much more rewarding. At the same time I know that the repetition is important and necessary for him to gain the skills he needs in the future. So moments like these in the OT lab are so refreshing for me. First off I get to take a break and observe (which is means a lot sometimes), I've gained ideas on how to better help him with certain skills, particularly his fine motor control, he gains the understanding that he does not depend on only me to achieve things. Best of all we gain many friends along the way - definately a part of Eli's Allies!