May 6, 2013
A mother instinct never fails.
I am so glad February is the shortest month of the year; really I am because for every single day of the month there was something to experience. It all began February 2, it was the annual Down Syndrome Clinic Day and It was our second year to attend. I was more excited this year than last year because I knew who I really wanted to see and I was looking for second opinion regarding Therapists. As I entered the clinic I was greeted by a good friend who also happen to be a mother of a teenage with Down syndrome. She introduced me to another mother who at the end of the day we befriended each other on facebook and have been chatting ever since. My main focus was to see the Physical Therapist. Amalia has been seeing a PT for three weeks and this PT is persuading me to authorise Amalia to get hip/leg brace along with a walker that I would have to strap her to the metal pole and kind of "make" her walk. Now I have done my research and this particular walker are for children with spinal problem that needs to use this device for a quite a long long time to be more independent and learn how to walk. In case of Amalia she needs to build strength on her legs to be able to walk, not make things easy for her, plus she is a Diva and STUBBORN. This current PT also believes that children should not CRAWL...When I heard all of this, I whisper to myself, "I need to get a second opinion." As I put my name on the waiting list a very well known Geneticist in Central Florida, Dr. Pollock approached me, she just gave a quick glance at Amalia when she tells me to sit down beside her and tells me Amalia has Autism. I could have cried, become very disappointed, probably feel bummed out, but that motherly voice inside of me kept me calm. I gave a smile to Dr. Pollock and said "No, she does not have Autism, she just feel shy since she is not familiar with the place and she seeing many strange faces." Dr. Pollock advice right of way for me to see a Behavioral Therapist. I said to her "She does not require one, she is well behave she has her moment, like we all do, but she does not need one." She still advice is good to just speak to a Behavioral Therapist and I agree to see one, it was a free clinic, so why not?! After our quick conversation I was called to see the Physical Therapist. I informed her what Amalia's current PT is advising for me to do. The PT at the clinic was very honest and said "Amalia needs to work on building strength on her legs, once she master that she will walk, run, jump, etc." She showed me exercise I can do at home for Amalia to build leg muscle strength and she did great, she was standing with support and had her legs straight "She does not need hip/leg brace and she does not need the walker her PT is mentioning..a word of advice get a new PT." I came out of the room like I was winning "Mom Instinct 1- PT 0." Second on my list was Occupational Therapist walked in there with a list of questions. Amalia's current OT had her practicing taking shape out of the bucket and putting the shape back in the bucket for the last nine months. I always speak to my High School awesome friend Margaret, who happens to be a teacher to special kids and in her school they have PT, OT, Speech Therapist on board and she mention how Amalia's OT should be learning ADL SKILLS (Activity of Daily Living) learning how to feed herself, drink out of her own cup, etc.. The OT at the Clinic advice the same thing and was honest and said Amalia is delayed in OT because she has not been giving the proper exercise and advice to get a new OT. Once again I left the room knowing I was right all along, the place she is attending are not providing the proper therapy for her. The third therapist on my list to see was the Speech Pathologist. Amalia's current Speech Therapist and I have argue often about Oral Motor Therapy, which is a variety of exercises to develop awareness, strength, coordination and mobility of the oral muscles. Her Speech Therapy "believes" she will chew when she wants to....The Speech Pathologist at the clinic could not have stressed enough about how important children with low tones should get Oral Motor Therapy. After chatting, he also recommended me to seek a speech therapist that performs Oral Motor Therapy. After seeing PT, OT, and Speech Therapist I went to see Stacey the Behavioral Therapist who was very informative regarding her field. She provided organizations name and contact number that can do home bound Behavior Therapy. My time was up and was headed to Dr. Pollock room to chat with her more about Amalia. She schedule an appointment to see her at her practice because she needs to do some testing to really diagnose her with Autism as well. She did observe her and advice to get a new PT, OT, and Speech Therapist and wrote down Referral to see the new therapists and was going to keep in touch with her Pediatric. It was late in the afternoon and I was feeling exhausted is like my adrenaline was wearing out and I was going to crash. I arrived home, cooked, ate and kind of gave it a thought as I glanced at my daughter and asked myself "Where does she see "Autism" in my daughter?" and then that motherly talks from within kept me calm. The following week I made an appointment with her pediatric so he can referred me to another clinic to take Amalia so she can get the proper therapy. The hard part was telling the therapist to discharge Amalia and of course the million and one questions of Why? How come? Where will she be attending? I answer as honest as I could. I told them that by attending the Down syndrome clinic I realized that Amalia was not getting the proper exercises and as her mother I want was best for her and it does not hurt to try Oral Motor Therapy, to see a Physical Therapist that works with her instead of relying a device that she does not need and she needs an Occupational therapist that will help her with ADL skills. Well let's just say it was not that easy..I had to wait another week for her to be discharge because the administrator who does the discharge always left to do some errands and did not come back for the day; but yes she did get the discharge and I am just waiting for the new clinic to process the paper work and give me a date to start. On Valentine day she had her six months cardiologist appointment and she is doing phenomenal..She does not need to see her cardiologist for the next two years....Fast forward to February 20, 2013 it was my scheduled day to see Dr. Pollock. Walked in and to the Doctor surprise Amalia was not the same child she saw at the clinic. Amalia showed her true colors. She said "Hi," to the doctor ans she waved and blew her a kiss. She saw a picture of an apple and said "Apple." Dr. Pollock was taken by surprise that no matter how many years of experience she has under her belt, she is human and makes mistakes. She observed Amalia and gave a clear diagnose that she does not have Autism. She is a happy baby with a warm infectious smile.!