It took me a while, but I just sent off my first attempt to contact the OT at Tommy’s school. I’m certain of my decision to request an evaluation for him at school and am plodding ahead with it. Before Thanksgiving, I had mentioned the possibility of “getting his classroom needs assessed” in one of my emails to his teacher, but I was vague. When I wrote it, I had expected her to grab ahold of it and put me in touch with the OT at school (or whoever else might be the contact person for such things). At the very least, I kind of thought I might at least get a vibe from her on whether or not she thought it was necessary. Instead, I got a rather nonchalant response about how she would touch base the OT when she sees her. Clearly I wasn’t firm enough with my request.
I ran into the mother of one of Tommy’s classmates last week, and after a few minutes of chatting about how 1st grade is going for our kids, learned that her daughter also has sensory deficiencies. Her advice to me is that I am my child’s advocate and that I need to be persistant with my concerns. Up until now, I have been hesitant about being too too up-front, bossy or demanding. I just feel that if I come off as too abrasive and inflexible, I won’t get very far. I’ve been having a hard time finding a happy medium. (Thus all the wishy-washy, vague language in my emails to his teacher.) So yesterday at his OT session, I mentioned to his OT that I was thinking about requesting an evaluation from the school. She agrees that it would probably be good. His sessions with her are great for helping us learn how to help him out at home, but that his classroom needs would be best assessed and outlined by the OT at the school. Having her behind me on this gave me the confidence to take the next step.
I feel good about the email I sent to the OT today. I made my desires clear, in a firm yet polite fashion. And, in the event that I need to start this process with a different individual, I also asked her to let me know if there is someone else I should contact about getting an evaluation. (That stems from my chat with the social worker back in October, when he failed to mention to me that the OT might be a better person to speak with about concerns of Sensory Processing issues, and failed to put me in contact with her.) I make no assumptions anymore that I will be referred to the apropriate individual when I start in the “wrong” place. I know that there’s a process for this, but I really don’t know where its supposed to start.
I’m a “big picture” kind of person. I do much better when I know how things are supposed to go. I don’t have the big picture here. I don’t know that I’m starting in the right place with this, and yes, I am frustrated that no one has enlightened me on that just yet. But, I just need to keep plugging along until I get what I think he needs.