And Dovi loved the new setup too. Ellen, the new therapist, was amazing. The combination of her enthusiasm and love, the large empty space, and the lack of hovering mother around meant that for the first time in months, he was finally making progress.
Life was easier, but it was still incredibly hectic. After picking up Dovi from ABA at 12;30, he still had Speech and Occupational Therapy in my house,and I was always rushing, rushing, rushing somewhere. But it was definitely better than the disaster home ABA had been.
Dovi loved going to the basement. He literally ran. I liked to sit and watch Ellen in action sometimes; it was amazing to see the progress. She zeroed in rather quickly on his sensory issues and other quirks. Before long she had taught him to walk independently to the little table, do his work,and she rewarded him with big hugs, social praise, and swinging him in the air, after which time he was allowed to go over to his play corner for a few minutes of free play. It was amazing.
Here's Dovi running enthusastically to 'school':
In November I took Dovi to Manhattan Eye and Ear for a hearing test with two audiologist. Again, the results were inconclusive. He would look at the dancing bears for a second or two, and as the sounds grew softer and softer, he became bored/inattentive and no longer looked at the screen. And since he didnt' always answer to his name, he ignored the technician too. After a while he became fidgety and began to cry. The technician told me the only way to really know if he could hear was by putting him under anesthesia and testing his eardrum function. No, thanks... I knew the kid can hear. He loves his DVD's; the moment he as much as hears the strains of Uncle Moishy, two flights down, he'll go rushing up the stairs to watch and listen.
Speaking of Uncle Moishy, I was pretty surprised to find them being sold on Amazon! I would have loved to rather link it up to Mostly Music, but since they sadly discontinued their affiliate program, Amazon will have to do... (I haven't made a single cent from Amazon yet btw, chuckle.)
Dovi was doing pretty well with his OT at that point; Lynn had figured out to create a tent out of bedsheets spread over chairs so he felt secure and content, and he enjoyed doing simple things like puzzles in his tent. We also continued doing the swinging-in-the-sheet thing, brushing, and the pop up tunnel for him to crawl through.
But... Lynn felt that Dovi would really benefit from going to a sensory gym, where more equipment was available.
Our six-month review with EI was coming up. Ordinarily I wouldn't need a meeting, if we didn't request any increases. But we were requesting an increase; we wanted to go up to OT 4X a week instead of 2X. Which meant a shlep to Headquarters to meet with an officer of E.I. Luckily, Bessie was getting married and taking a 3-week vacation from work, so I wouldn't have to entertain Dovi at home all morning; we'd have a trip down to Headquarters instead.
Meantime I began researching different therapy gyms. A good friend of mine who has a son with mild CP suggested Support By Design in nearby Lower Manhattan. I was impressed with what I saw online, and a quick phone call revealed that they did have two slots available for me: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2:30. I needed to do a bit of reshuffling among the speech therapists so I could leave home at 2 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and they were okay with that. I was terrified of undertaking something as huge as shlepping with Dovi to the city twice a week. It meant having my Shabbos food cooked and ready by 2 p.m. every Thursday, and making sure to dismiss Wanda, my cleaning help, before 2 p.m. on Tuesdays as well. But if this would help Dovi, I was ready to do it. I set up a system with a local cab company to receive receipts from every trip so I could recoup the money I would lay out from the twice-weekly round trips. Now all that was left was the meeting with E.I. to get approval for the OT increase. Becca was a little doubtful if it would be approved, with E.I. cutting corners everywhere, but we hoped they would.
With the help of G-d, we did get approved. And thus another chapter was added to the ongoing saga of Dovi and his insane therapy schedule. During one of those car trips, I received a phone call that would change my life forever.
Yes, life-changing phone calls remain a running theme throughout this insane life of mine.
This time it was my best friend Esther. And she had a rather interesting proposal for me.
But the clock has struck midnight and it's time for me to turn into a pumpkin, so I shall continue at some other time.
To be continued....