I found out recently that our insurance will cover occupational therapy with a referral from our primary physician. I was pleased to learn that because Bede’s never had professional therapists beyond our yearly consult with his psych. But getting the referral required us to go to the doctor. Hmm.
My mom has been very busy for the last month so I waited for her to become available again and then made my call.
Phone lady: Has he been seen here before?
Me: No, you’ve seen his siblings.
PL: OK, we can see you at 3:30 on…
Me: Could you give us a time where we don’t have to wait as much? I mean, I know nobody wants to wait but he’s autistic and he’s going to be screaming pretty much the entire time he’s there.
PL: (nonplussed) Well, um, how about 1:30 on (several weeks away)? And that will be Dr. Name’s first appointment that day, he does afternoons.
So today was the day. Sean went and got the new patient paperwork beforehand and we just handed it in when we got there. Then we waited. Bede tried to turn the tv off and on. He tried to take every magazine out of the rack. He tried to take off his shoes and clothes.
And he yelled the whooole time.
It’s the looks that get you. I understand people looking. Hell, I’d look, hear a kid scream “NOOOOO!! DO YOU WANT TO SEE THE CAR? DO YOU WANT TO LET’S GO HOME? OKAY SURE I GETCHOO LET’S GO HOME!! NOOOOOO!!” but the continual weight of the stares, the shock and disgust and the not looking away part. Well. Urgh.
Then after about 5 minutes in the waiting room we went back to the exam room. Bede was unable to be weighed because he wouldn’t stand on the scale. He’s very tactile defensive especially about his ears so no go on the temperature reading. When we got to the room he climbed up on the exam table and started taking the disposable otoscope covers out of the dispenser. When dissuaded from this he became upset. More yelling. The nurse left and said the doctor would be right in.
When he came in his eyes widened a bit at Bede and he said, over the din “I’m Dave. Nice to meet you!” He sat down (as I detached Bede from the dispenser again) and said “I understand you’re here for a referral for OT. You’ve got it.”
Then he wanted to talk about Bede, who was at this point basically insane. He was amazed that Bede could read and write yet not converse and said “He’s like a savant!” He took a history and then left, somewhat shell-shocked. He came back in to ask “Do you immunize?” I got the same general impression I have always gotten from that clinic: no problem, let us know what you’ve decided. We think vaccines are good and safe but it’s up to you. (Regular readers of my blog will recall that we vaccinate very selectively on a highly delayed schedule.) So that was nice to not feel bullied. They also have the individual vaccines there, the nurse told me, for those who want single shots vs. multidisease ones.
Then we left. Bede declared that he wanted McDonald’s so that’s what we got. And that brings you up to date, OT here we come!