In the beginning, we were pretty new to the idea of getting therapy, along with figuring out exactly what Oliver could tolerate and what he needed work on.
He started seeing therapists at only five months of age, and being born ten weeks early you can imagine there was not much we could do.
After all, the little guy was still learning to be in the outside world and gain some weight!
Many visits felt just as stated...visits.
We would sit, watch Oliver try and play with toys and just talk. It was nice having the company but I wasn't in full understanding at the time of how this was or how it was supposed to help us.
I had no clue that watching him explore a toy on his own, learn to hold it in his hand or even stick it in his mouth for exploration was huge! I just figured this was all stuff a baby “should” eventually learn how to do.
Why did I need someone in my house observing him do it and take notes?
We would be back at it next week and I soon found myself feeling guilty.
Guilty because at the end of every session I would get a little task, homework you could say, to work on with Oliver until the next time we met.
If we had little or no improvement, I would get the feeling of guilt and failure. Like it was my fault he could not accomplish what she had wanted us to do in time.
Now I do want to state that never, ever have our therapists made us feel like failures. There has never been negative remarks on what we have or have not been able to do.
This was just me not knowing how to cope with everything so new.
It was not until I started asking questions on what we could do better at home, or what gadgets would work better in certain situations with learning; that I learned how to make the most out of our sessions.
I did not just attend each therapy session expecting them do to their work and be done.
I now came to each appointment with a list of questions and toys I would find here and there ready for their opinions of whether it would be a good fit or not.
We were now prepared. One of the things Oliver had the most struggle with, was upper body control. Before we came across Firefly and their amazing products, we found a family willing to donate this contraption called the Bumbo wheelchair.
It was not something you found in a store. It was not something recommended by the therapists.
By asking questions during therapy, we knew what exactly Oliver needed to work on, what he enjoyed doing, and what items might help progress his strength.
So we put two and two together; Oliver loved exploring his surroundings but had no means to get around just yet, and chairs like the bumbo helped support him upright while building strength.
Shockingly enough, we found someone who had taken the bumbo chair, put it on a platform, and attached two stroller wheels to the side making a wheelchair!
Too small to fit in most chairs, my little man was now sitting on his own and slowly realizing how the wheels work and could get him from point A to point B.
For our family, we have made the most out of our therapy sessions by being prepared and asking lots of questions.
Two years in, Oliver now has his big boy wheelchair that he uses like a pro and our therapist is still amazed with this bumbo wheelchair!