Ode to a Therapist.

Liam and I drove into Arlington today to meet his new occupational therapist for an evaluation and to add a second session with his speech therapist that he sees on Mondays. A new clinic, a new journey in the fight against apraxia.

On the drive home Liam conked out 5 minutes into the drive so I was alone with my thoughts. I couldn’t help becoming overwhelmed with gratitude for the therapists that God has brought into our lives. Each one specifically drawing things out in Liam in a way that he responded to. It’s more than we could have hoped or dreamed of.

And so this:

Julia, You were the first therapist to come into our lives and you immediately saw Liam. You saw past the behaviours, the tantrums, the inability to socialize. You saw his interests and his strengths and only focused on those. You walked Matt and I through the red tape of EI and encouraged us to fight for everything we could. You walked us through a diagnosis and a school evaluation. And every step of the way, you saw Liam. You saw us and you brought love with you when you came to 808 every week for 10 months. We are so happy we get to see you at Fairview, and that you are still a part of our lives. We really do love our Julia.

Christina, You fell in love with Liam from the moment you started evaluating him. You were the only one in the room chuckling at his stubborn streak. You saw his sarcasm and thought it was awesome and funny and naughty. You had a full case load, but before the evaluation was done you agreed to come to our house to do consults and then as soon as a spot opened up 6 weeks later you sneaked him in. He gave you a run for your money and you still came back every week and laughed at him. You always commented on how much you enjoyed his personality. I can’t tell you how much that means to parents of a child with a social disability. You enjoyed him. It brings tears to my eyes to type it and know it. Thank you. You are going to be a really fantastic mom.

Betsy, Oh Betsy. You GOT Liam. You got his sensory. You taught from experience. You gave Liam so much room to grow and make peace with himself. You taught Matt and I how to make accommodations for Liam’s need of space and input. You encouraged us to listen to our gut. You explained one of Liam’s biggest struggles in such an empowering way. You made Christmas possible for us. You got us to the point of “not needing you anymore”. That was a sad day. And a happy day. You are one of our favourites. Thank you.

Karen, We’ve only been together for a few months, but your connection with Liam was instant. Within 5 minutes you came over to us and gave us more information and insight into Liam’s speech and related sensory delay than we had in 10 months. Your 18 years experience was a lifetime of Christmas presents for the Oakes family. Liam’s progress is amazing and we are so thrilled to see you twice a week. We know you’re going to get our monkey talking. And watch out when that day comes. There won’t be enough kleenex or champagne in the world to match our tears and joy.

Kelly, You are our newest friend and we are so pleased. You have such a kind heart and playful spirit. You had so much fun playing with Liam today. You were patient and giving and encouraging. You can’t know what that means. We look forward to our Friday’s getting our sensory fine tuned and eventually, hopefully, learning to love a fork and spoon.

Therapists, you are worth your weight in gold. We are FOREVER indebted to you. We love you and pray God’s blessing in your lives in the richest of ways.

XO, Team Oakes

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