Friday, June 25, 2010

Stewart Park

Attack of the mutant killer geese! Our days are usually crammed with therapy. Ollie has occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy three times a week each, and Special Instruction twice a week. It is extremely rare for Ollie to have a weekday morning without a therapy session or appointment of some sort. So when such a day occurs, and especially when it coincides with beautiful weather, it is nice to be able to take advantage of it. On this particular day we decided to go to Stewart Park to explore and feed the ducks. Well, instead of ducks we found lots of Canada geese, and they were not shy! It was a little scary really, and I actually got nipped on my hand protecting Oliver's yummy fingers and toes from hungry goslings. Next time we'll try to avoid the geese and look a little harder for the ducks!

Stewart Park Stewart park is a beautiful park on the southern tip of Cayuga Lake. I have a lot of fond memories of it from my previous life: swing dances in the pavilion, long runs with my Wednesday evening running group, picnics with friends, and lazy days at the annual Ithaca Festival. Those days are long gone, and the park looks different to me now. It looks more challenging.

The park was buzzing with kids Oliver's age running, laughing, and playing while their moms socialized and picnicked. I did my best to stay on task and concentrate on making it a fun outing for Oliver. I wanted to enable him to experience an assortment of activities at the park to the best of our abilities. He was skeptical about much of it, especially going down the slide and getting wet in the sprinklers. Of course there was nothing that was handicap accessible! Not even a single swing. So I held him on my lap and he enjoyed swinging that way for a while. Later on he indicated he wanted to go on the toddler swings that he saw the other children on. These had no back or head support, so I had to hold him steady which didn't make for good swinging action (and nearly threw my back out), but at least he got to do it. He also rode a little pony merry-go-round, and even the T-Rex. These were hard for him because he is unable to use his arms to hold on, and his legs cannot open that wide. He also thrusts backwards, which makes holding him steady even more difficult. But we did our best. Hopefully one day we can be there while the Carousel is running. I wonder if Ollie would find a real merry-go-round fun or frightening.
Stewart Park collage
While we didn't have the relaxed carefree morning at Stewart park that the others were enjoying, we had a good time in our own way. And we made it home in time for Ollie's nap so he'd be rested and ready to go for his afternoon therapy!


Susan, Mum to Molly said...

Your second sentence blows me away...

Are you seriously saying that Ollie gets 11 therapy sessions every week, provided by the 'state'??

Geez Australia's public therapy 'services' are CRAP. Are all those sessions provided in-home?? How long is each session?

Can we come live in your basement???

Seriously though, I can fully understand why the park visit was difficult & emotional - but I am glad you braved it.

Big hugs to all three of you,

Susan + Lucy, Molly & Wendy

PS: is your 'baby' really starting school NEXT MONTH!?!?

Meghan said...

Yes - Ollie gets that much therapy at home each week! The Early Intervention program in our county of New York is excellent that way. But services vary a lot from state to state, and from county to county. We are very lucky to live where we do. The times and frequency of Oliver's therapy sessions have varied over our time in the program. But at this point in time we have a full load, with OT and Speech 3 times a week each, for over an hour a session ("extended sessions") PT 3 times a week, regular sessions (though our PT is great and usually stays for about an hour), and Special Instruction twice a week, closer to a half hour for each session. And it is all home based. Sure beats Australia in that way, doesn't it? Early Intervention only goes to age 3, and then services all switch over to school. Therapy time diminishes, but no waiting list!!! At his IEP meeting it was decided that Oliver will get the maximum therapy allowed, a total of 2.5 hours a week of each OT, PT and Speech, divided up in different ways. Yes, Ollie will turn 3 on Saturday, and start school on the following Monday, the 13th of September - big changes afoot! Wish you could come and live with us and get as much therapy for Molly. Hugs to you & J, and L, M and W!

Meghan said...

PS… Susan, one more thing I should have mentioned is that you do not need to be a citizen of the US to receive full services. Any child in need will get them. You may remember that Ollie even got some PT and Speech sessions through the Early Intervention program when we visited Ithaca from Sydney back in 2008! That said, budget cuts are a continual source of worry for the future.

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