Category Archives: therapy

A Special Education

Dr. V. wore a pinstripe collar shirt and a light gray tie with small brown dogs printed all over it. It matched his personality. During my son’s assessment, he laughed at his jokes and answered every one of his questions, even the silly ones.

Dr. V. spent the last 45 minutes explaining to me in depth the results of my son’s vision evaluation. Not be confused with his eyesight examination. His eyesight was fine. He didn’t need glasses. If only.

The vision evaluation unearthed some concerns. While Dr. V. described oculomotor dysfunction, loss of fixation, accommodative level and facility, exophoria, convergence insufficiency, and visual perception, my mind raced into the future.

I knew where we were headed, because we’d been there before. Vision therapy. We would spend the next six months (or more) – including the summer vacation – doing twice weekly vision therapy, and it would break my son’s heart.

“Do you have any questions?” Dr. V. asked.

How is it fair that one kid has to deal with all this crap? Do you know how many doctors, therapists, and tutors he has? He’s 10! There aren’t enough hours in the day! Will it even help? Should I just let him be? Am I ruining his childhood? Will he like reading when it’s all done? Will his handwriting be neater and his homework be less unbearable? How do I know when I’m pushing him too hard or not hard enough? Does he know how smart, kind, intuitive, brave, and imaginative he is? Will he live a happy life? Does he resent me for insisting on these interventions? Does he begrudge me for not doing more? Will it get worse or better as he ages? Is it affecting his self-esteem? Is it my fault? Why do I have to be an OT, ST, VT, SPD, ADD, IEP expert? Why can’t I just be his mom?

“Why is this so hard?” I blurted out.

Dr. V. chuckled. “No one teaches us about this stuff before we have kids,” he said. “Being a parent is a special education, isn’t it?”


Dr. V. looked about my dad’s age. His kids must’ve been grown. He’d been through the hard bits. He was incredibly patient and had a comforting vibe that gave me hope that, in the long run, everything would be okay.

Still, I wanted to climb across his desk and inhabit his body. I was desperate to see my journey from his vantage point. I ached for my future self to tell my present self  that everything would be okay.

But, just as I knew I had to persevere and do the hard work to get to the other side of vision therapy, I also understood I had to persist and do the heart-filling (and heartbreaking) work of raising my boy.

Someday, I would be on the other side. Someday, I would understand the meaning of everything’s going to be okay, but it wasn’t my turn yet. I thanked Dr. V. for his time, put my son’s name on the vision therapy waiting list, and headed home.


Welcome to Voices of Special Needs Blog Hop — a monthly gathering of posts from special needs bloggers hosted by The Sensory Spectrum and The Jenny Evolution. Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about having a special needs kiddo — from Sensory Processing Disorder to ADHD, from Autism to Dyslexia! Want to join in on next month’s Voices of Special Needs Hop? Click here!



Filed under education, therapy

The Root Of It All

I dreamed that my tooth fell out again. I know what the dream means: loss of control, helplessness and anxiety.  It made sense literally and figuratively. 

Here’s the literal stuff.  Last Friday morning, we paid another visit to Riley’s dentist because he said the boo-boo on his tooth hurt.  Since his fall, we’ve been to his dentist more often than I’ve been to Nordstrom.  Thankfully there was no infection, but it’s starting to settle in that there’s no end in sight to this dental ordeal. 

And now I have one of my own.  On Friday afternoon, my tooth literally fell out.  I put a mint in my mouth and half of a crown on one of my molars crumbled into pieces.  I just came home from the dentist this morning where I was informed that I don’t need a crown restoration; rather, I need a root canal.

When the dentist said the words “root canal,” I cried.  He was very sweet and handed me a tissue.  I told him to ignore my tears.  I said it was just that I felt overwhelmed (…and helpless, anxious, and nauseas because my world was spinning out of control). Don’t worry, I didn’t say the stuff in parentheses out loud.  On the bright side, the root canal comes with a goody bag filled with narcotics to help with the pain, financial and otherwise.

Here’s the figurative stuff.  This Thursday, Dylan begins OT sessions twice a week to tackle his sensory issues.  I’m relieved to get started, but I’m also anxious about the hard work ahead and how long it will take to make progress.  Also, without getting into too much detail (some things truly aren’t meant to be blogged about), I’m experiencing some tension with a friend that I don’t know how to relieve.

Yes, the teeth falling out of my mouth dream made a lot of sense.

I have anxiety.  Most of the time it’s manageable, but when things start to feel uncertain,or they don’t have a definitive beginning, middle and end, or they feel unfixable, or they catch me off guard, or cost an unexpected fortune, I get frazzled.  Amazingly, I just described motherhood.

So what do I do about it?  The Lorazepam I took on Sunday afternoon definitely helped take the edge off, but I have to try harder than that.  I must admit, though, it made me much more patient with the boys at bedtime.

I decided to look back at some of my blog entries on shopaholism, because anxiety is definitely at the root of that problem, too.  “Reading.  Writing.  Running.  Yoga.  Repeat.” was a good read and a reminder to focus on activities that I can control (and that will keep me away from the mall), like sorting the three feet high stack of junk mail sitting on my dining room table or watching a show on the DVR.  Yeah, “The GoodWife” sounds really good right now.  Besides that, it’s back to the basics for me, or actually, the new basics: Reading. Writing. Walking (still too hot to run). Dentist. Repeat.

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Filed under anxiety, dentist, sensory processing disorder, shopaholism, therapy