Under my post "Guilt Revisited"
Future of Hope wrote:
"Anyways.... My guilt hits me full force whenever I look back at my son's early years. All of the time spent focused on this milestone or that, pushing and prodding for just "one more" skill, all the time spent running from PT to OT to SLP and back again. I would give literally anything to go back in time and get off of that merry-go-round. We lost so much. So much fun, so much "bonding", so much discovering and play. All in search of what was "supposed to be" instead of "what is". If he hadn't spent so much time pushed beyond his limits, would his social/emotional outlook be better? I missed so much that can't be gotten back - so many "firsts" that came so late that they brought with them more anxiety than joy. I was so wrong. I want my baby back. NOT my "preemie", not my "special needs child" but my BABY. the one that I had in my arms, and that I dreamed away."
Not one day has gone by since I first read her comment, that I haven't thought about the emotional impact of her words.
I have often thought back to the beginning years of Paige's life. We had various therapies 4 days a week, for her first 2 years. Physical therapy (twice a week), occupational therapy, speech therapy. 4 days a week of people coming out to our house to tell us all of the milestones she was not reaching and how to help her reach them. After 2 years, the time spent in therapy lessened to 3 days a week and we then saw the therapists at a pediatric therapy facility. It continued this way (some months increasing the amount of visits) for the first 5 years of her life.
Despite all of this therapy Paige still sat up late, crawled late, walked late, talked very late, has tone issues, fine motor issues and has severe sensory issues.
Looking back, do I feel that therapy was beneficial? No.
It was not beneficial for Paige but it was beneficial for me. I felt that I was doing everything to help her. How can we turn away services that are supposed to help our child? After giving birth to a preemie, is any parent in the right emotional state to ask questions as to the efficacy of therapy? I know I sure wasn't!
I have met a few parents who did not put their child through therapy. I fully expected to see a child who had not progressed as far as Paige but this is not the case. All of the children that I have met, who did not have therapy, are exactly where Paige is at... tone issues, fine motor issues and sensory issues.
I've always been upset about how much Paige (along with her Dad and I) had been put through for 5 years, only to be exactly where she (most likely) would have been without therapy. But, until reading the comment left by Future of Hope, I never realized how much I lost.
I'm writing this post so we all can openly discuss the early intervention services. I want new preemie parents, who are desperately searching the internet for information, to know that they have a choice regarding therapy. I don't want to sound as if I am criticizing those in the therapy fields, there is a place for them. But, what I really want to know is how others viewed their therapy time.