We are saying goodbye to an important #Autism therapy

I took Emmett to occupational therapy this past Tuesday, only to find out that this is his last session. I had no idea this is what was going to happen and frankly, I’m not sure what to think. 

Having said that, it’s not uncommon to take a break from things during the Summer and pick things back up in the Fall. 

Unfortunately, that’s not the plan, at least not at this point. They billed this whole thing as graduation. We can always re-evaluate in the future but they feel Emmett can use the skills he’s learned to get through the Summer/rest of his life. 

I didn’t make a big deal out of this at the time because Emmett was upset enough, and I wanted to get him through this before figuring out what to do. I also wanted to talk to Lizze and make sure we were both on the same page before deciding on an approach. 

The more I think about this, the more upset I get. Kids in the Autism Spectrum need these services on an ongoing basis. It’s a support service for a reason. 

Occupational therapy helps him better navigate his world. It obviously can’t go on forever, but the kids only eight years old. I’ll keep you updated on how we handle this unexpected twist. 

Either way, I have some pictures to share from his last occupational therapy session. 


4 Comments

  1. Jimmy Rock

    Sorry about this unexpected development. Some questions though – why was this unexpected? How do you just show up one day and they just tell you, completely out of the blue, “Hey congratulations, it’s graduation, see ya never!” It makes absolutely no sense to be completely blindsided by a therapy service coming to an immediate and abrupt end.

    Who makes this determination? Is it based upon necessity? It sounds like from what you wrote above, Emmett was evaluated and he performed too “well” to continue to receive services. If it is based upon necessity, you should have received test scores and a report explaining the determination. Or is there some financial factor or coverage issue at play here?

    Whatever the circumstances are, I hope you get it straightened out. Another typical battle a parent of an autistic child finds him or herself waging all too often.

  2. Facebook Profile photo bwiren

    Yeah, I don’t like the way it sounds either. I’m sure you will want to contact them and have a sit down talk, in person or over the phone. I don’t know enough about OT so maybe with what they were focused on, he’s doing well?

  3. kimmy gebhardt

    I was prescribed OT and PT as part of my after-radiation care for lymphedema and to keep scar tissue from taking over. Both of those therapists had to do monthly evaluations so that insurance would continue to cover it. I was released from OT (that was for lymphedema) when the therapist decided that they had done all they could for me. I still have my PT because the massage and stretching that she does for me is still beneficial to my well being and because my radiation oncologist re-prescribed it for me. Long story short (too late!), if they graduated him, it’s likely because they feel that they have done all they can and taught him all the tricks they have to help him deal with the reason OT was originally prescribed. It is also very possible that insurance has cut him off because the therapist told them that there is nothing further to be done. I’m not saying it’s okay or that I agree with it, but from my experience OT is about giving people the tools they need to help themselves.

  4. Mindfulmon

    They sometimes “graduate” or conclude therapy when the individual has received max benefits. It means that while everything is not resolved this particular therapeutic venue is no longer beneficial and that the individual has received the most they can. It can is supposed to prevent people from being billed for years of therapy where the benefits have been maximized.
    In the same vein as some other responders, conclusion of treatment is not abrupt. There are service plans and treatment goals that give detailed explanations, regular testing and evaluations are also required. This is continuity of care and carries a liability for the provider, they usually cover it well.

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