After Monkey’s Vacation

Okay, so here’s some background about myself. I have a B.A. in English and am currently in a Low-Residency MFA program. My goal is to obtain a Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and become a professor of creative writing at a local university. My husband has a Master’s degree in English and will begin teaching as an adjunct professor in the fall. Because I am in a Low Residency program, I am required to come to the college campus, which is 4 1/2 hours from where we currently live and stay for nine days before the beginning of each semester. Last week, I just went to my third residency and normally, my husband and son accompany me. Children aren’t allowed to attend most of the events, so it’s pretty much a mini-vacation for my husband and son. This meant that my son would have to miss ST (speech therapy) and OT (occupational therapy), but luckily it was the same week that the facility has a camp and is closed for all regular appointments. The week before this, my son had to miss OT, which he had just started only a couple weeks prior because his Occupational Therapist was going to be out of town that week. That meant missing two weeks of OT and one week of ST.

While we were gone Monkey said, “button,” referring to the elevator button, which he loves to push and “pop,” referring to popping bubbles, which are often used in ST and OT. This was wonderful news to his Speech Therapist, however today ST and OT were very interesting. Normally, my son does really well and is very cooperative in ST because everything is consistent, but OT has been a bit different. My son was assigned an Occupational Therapist, but not a room to have OT, so the last time he saw his Occupational Therapist, she reserved a room for consistency. His Occupational Therapist was also doing something that my son couldn’t stand. She was talking to him in one or two sentence phrases and Monkey was not responding well to this. For him, you must ask him to do things in the form of multi-word questions that include the word please (i.e. Monkey, could you please put the lid on this?) and then you must say, “Thank you,” to let him know he’s done what you wanted him to do. Once this issue was corrected, things were running more smoothly, but still very rocky in OT until this week, when Monkey did a complete 180 degree turn. ST today was a complete struggle and I had to actually step into the room to help calm him because he was screaming so loudly it sounded like someone was beating him. Normally, I leave the room for ST, but since OT is so new still, I remain in the room learning techniques to use at home. Today, I had to be in the room for half of ST. I stayed in the room for OT just like normal and Monkey was doing really well. In fact, he was doing so well, that I am planning to leave the room for OT in a couple of weeks. I think that as long as things remain consistent, my son will start doing much better, even though it’s two hours and my removal will help him when he has to go to preschool. I can’t always be with him in school, but sometimes I wish I could. 🙂

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