Friday, November 30, 2007

Amazing conference

I just got home from Springfield, IL where I attended a conference on Sensory Processing Disorder. It was amazing. The two speakers are the most famous names in SPD, one an educator who works with children, another an occupational therapist who develops therapy and researches its effects. It was so incredibly informative and inspirational.

The best part was before lunch. I happened to be in the bathroom at the same time as Dr. Lucy Jane Miller, who is the OT/research scientist. I had read her book and have long admired her and the work that she does. Normally, I am too shy to talk to people like that, but she looked at me and caught my eye, and I knew I had to say something to her. I actually found myself tearing up as I thanked her for all her hard work on behalf of children like Danny. I told her that I actually cried during her presentation. She showed the differences in electrodermal reactivity in kids with SPD and normal kids when presented with sensory stimuli. There was a huge difference. Then she showed the ERD in SPD kids after 10 weeks of intensive therapy and their responses were the SAME as normal kids. I seriously cried when I saw that she could prove that the therapy works and that there is hope for kids with this disorder and that a kid can respond in as little as 10 weeks. So amazing.

It was so fascinating and validating to talk with her. We are going to look into taking Danny to her clinic in Denver this summer. I have no idea how much it would cost, but they have an intensive therapy program that I think would do wonders for him. At one point Dr. Miller also suggested that I go to school for occupational therapy and I was really surprised. That is actually an idea I have secretly toyed with over the last 2 years, but have been a bit less than confident about. It was gratifying that an amazingly brilliant scholar like Dr. Miller would think I have what it takes to become an OT. I really would love to do something like that. There is such a huge need for OTs, especially those who work with kids. And OTs who are certified in SPD therapy are even rarer. Over the last 2 years I have met so many parents of kids with SPD, all of whom feel as lost and alone as I did (and still do sometimes). I know firsthand what need there is of therapists who really understand this disorder and who don't just think it is a discipline or behavior problem. I think I am going to look into what I would have to do to get a Master's in OT. It is worth looking into, at any rate.

1 comment:

Amy Jane said...

Patty,

Wow! What a positive, hopeful, almost giddy post. I'm so excited for you that you had such an amazing experience at this conference, and that you are being so proactive about Danny's SPD. You just amaze me. I think it's great that you went to something like this and that you came away with such inspiration and determination. And if you want to be an OT, I have no doubt whatsoever that you can do it and be a top-notch one, to boot. But even if you don't, what you do every day for your son is just as worthy as if you helped dozens of kids. Always remember that.

I will definitely shop through that website - thanks for sharing it.

Yay!