Opinions on my OT — The Bump
Special Needs

Opinions on my OT

I'm trying to figure out if I need to let my OT for my younger DS go.  We've only been receiving OT for 5 visits.  I have quite a few issues with her, but I also genuinely don't like her but don't want to let my personal feelings get the way of my judgment.  Here are my problems and concerns:

1. She generally unprofessional.  In these 5 visits she has shown up 20 minutes late twice and only gave a halfhearted apology halfway through the session once.  No reason was given either time.  We are her first appt. of the day so I just feel like there is no excuse and it causes me to have to rush to our next appt. that's an hour after OT.  Its a long story how I know this, but I also know that she lied to me to get me to reschedule one of our sessions for her convenience.  This started my personal problem with her.  She also didn't bother to figure out where our house was until the morning of our first visit (called at 7:30am for clarification) and several times she's said things that make me question whether or not she's read the OT evaluations.

2. She's not enthusiastic.  I explained to her at our first session that we started having our biggest breakthroughs in ST when we had 3 people cheering every time DS tried to say a word.  I've mentioned it a couple of times since then.  He loves praise and of course I'm sitting there clapping and being excited but she just sort of smiles and says "good job" with no inflection.  Our ST gets so much more hard work out of him so I find it frustrating because she's having a problem getting him to attend that he doesn't have with other people (people at TEACCH, ST, evaluators, etc.)

3. She's pregnant and told me about it at our first session, but she wasn't sure how far along she was and hasn't mentioned it since.  I'm therefore guessing she's around 2.5-3 months.  She's already made comments about how she's not sure if she should be lifting him.  He is a big kid (34lbs) and of course I feel for her as a woman, but as the mom in this situation I feel like my biggest priority is an OT that can physically do everything he needs.  Obviously she will also go on maternity leave at some point in the next 5 months or so. 

4.  Then there are 80 billion nit picky things I don't like.  She told my DS "that's nasty" when he picked his nose, as I was getting a tissue.  Yeah, not charming on his part but he's 2 and I have to think most OT's have seen a lot worse (um, smearing anyone?!).  The language was inappropriate to me.  She seems to come in with an order of activities in her head and won't let him vary from that resulting in him getting frustrated and crying.  I've always worked with people that let the kids pick the activity, they just have to pick among things he needs to work on and have to finish the activity.  This is also the approach I use, so I think this confuses him and he gets mad.  She then does nothing to try to calm him (leaves that totally to me to get him back on track) and is VERY quick to try to cut the session short saying "he seems done for today".  We always make it through ST even if we have a little crying or a bit of a tantrum (very rarely happen).  I also feel like I'm the one that has to pull information out of her - why are we doing this, what should I look for, what should I check for, etc. 

In general the activities she does are OK.  I've learned a couple of things that relate to the issues that DS#2 has that DS#1 didn't, but nothing ground breaking.  So, am I being a big, whiny baby that should suck it up or should I just cut my losses and try to find someone else before the "breakup" is even a bigger deal?

Re: Opinions on my OT

  • I'm a therapist, and I think your concerns are very valid.  They main points are how she interacts with your DC.  I'm not sure how you are at confrontation, but I would talk to her about some of your major concerns in a direct matter of fact way.  You don't have to mention everything here, just the main points.  Five visits is a fairly short time.  Sometimes it can take a bit to establish rapport.  I would give it another month and see where things fall after talking with her.  Hopefully she just needed a mini vacation (Memorial day ;)  )  Speaking for myself this time of year is really hectic until the end of the school year.  This shouldn't affect therapy, but maybe she's a bit burnt out?  Sounds like you are an invested parent and strong advocate.  I wish you and DC the best.
  • I had some of the same issues with out PT. It has been almost a year now, and I finally told our case manager that we would like to try a new PT. She is not unprofessional at all, but my son cries when he even sees her. They somehow formed a very negative relationship and it is getting us nowhere. He works way harder for us and does NOTHING for her. I know that the relationship between a child and PT isn't always strong because they are asking them to work hard, but it got to be just so negative. I talked to her at one of the evaluations to try a different approach of warming up to him before working with him. She did listen, but I think the negative relationship was already formed from the first few months. 

    She also seemed to have an agenda and didn't want to stray from it and was not very enthusiastic about anything. I am a teacher and I know that if you form a relationship with kiddos and praise them when deserved, it motivates them to work harder. I also read quite a few times on here of moms just loving their PT and mine experience was so opposite.

    So, we are still waiting for another PT to be assigned. The case manager was very reluctant to switch, but I kept pushing.  In your case, I might try talking to the case manager about your feelings and see if it changes anything. But, then I would definitely switch. Our kiddos deserve the best and we are their best advocates.

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  • We went through 3 before we found the right fit. It wasn't easy, but I had to go with my gut. The first one we had for 7 months. It turns out (in hindsight) it was less about her and more about her boss. She didn't agree with DS's diagnosis, but her boss had to make ALL the calls because she wasn't a fully licensed OT. The second one was ready to exit DS on several unattained goals after about 5 appts and never did an eval for sensory like I was promised.

    I say that to tell you that I have personally had 2 bad fits and one WONDERFUL fit. You gotta find someone new. Hopefully she just clicks better with other children and she will be fine. MAYBE her expertise isn't in autism????

     Nothing you wrote is petty at all. All of that is important. Even if it doesn't directly impact your son, YOU are the one who has to trust this professional with doing the best job she can with your child for X amount of time. It doesn't sound like you're confident in putting your trust in her expertise. 

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