Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Just a vent...

A few weeks ago a PT student worked with Cooper during his session with his regular PT. His PT, L, is super nice and patient and is WONDERFUL with Cooper. He fatigues really easily due to his hypotonia and does become fussy after about 30 minutes into exercising. I don't know many adults that would be *happy* 30 minutes into a work-out! Cooper does a lot at PT, too, like he stands in this wooden stander thing that I couldn't even begin to really describe to all of you but it looks like a torture device (in actuality, it's hard for him to bear weight on his legs so it probably is a little torturous to him!). He does push-up stuff on a big exercise ball and works out on this fake staircase thing. I mean the kid kicks it but again, he's a baby and a baby with special needs to boot! I'm always proud of him even when he starts to get pissed!

Anyways, the student was working with him and Coop started to get a little fussy (this is about 40 minutes into therapy) and she looks at him and calls him a "faker." Maybe, my mommy protectiveness went into overdrive but this pissed me off. I would never dare of calling him anything harder than snickelfritz (which is a German word for curious boy, my FIL is German) than to have someone undermine his feelings really struck a nerve. But, I kept my mouth shut. Then right before the session ended this student looked at Cooper with this irritated look and said "I just don't understand why he's so upset" and really it was the look and tone that got me. Again, I kept my mouth shut thinking that maybe, I need to hold my tongue and re-evualate the situation after I leave to see if it's truly something to be upset by. Do you know that I was pissed at this student for the entire week leading up to his next appointment?

I was hoping that maybe the student wouldn't work with him again and I could talk to his PT on the side about how this student needs to be talked to about Cooper's particular situation and to have some sensitivity for his (and mine!) feelings. But, no, there she was in all her smug glory waiting to treat him again. So, this gave me two options 1. pretend like nothing ever happened and give this student the opportuntity to be an insensitive twit to other babies or 2. Be direct and tell her my observations so that I don't have to go off on her when she does it again and spare other babies (and parents) her cluelessness. I went with number 2. She started to cry and apologized profusely.

Anyways, I accepted her apology on Cooper's behalf. I'm telling all of you now that if he was old enough to understand what the word "faker" was and that she was picking on him that all hell would've broken loose. Any name calling crosses a line with me and maybe it's the mommy and the social worker in me that has no room for it. I allowed her to continue working with him last week and yesterday and she is like a totally different person. She's sweet, funny, and patient. Hmmm, you needed a pissed off parent to teach you how to work with a baby? I'm hoping that she has taken a closer look at her "bedside" or should I say "exercise mat" manner. I know she's just a student but in what world would you think those words and facial expressions were okay?

I don't know. Just a vent. I've never really been irritated with someone at his therapy place and we're there a lot! Maybe, I blew it out of proportion but I knew that I couldn't let her work with my son again without my observations being addressed. She did thank me for my opinion in the end so maybe, she really did learn something and will think of me when she loses her patience with a baby again.


  1. I think it is great that you said something. Not many people would have. Cooper doesn't need to be treated that way; even if he doesn't understand what she is saying. It's funny how our kids bring out the "mother bear" in us.

    Yesterday, I was walking out of a grocery store with my three youngest. It was lunch break at the high school, and there were some boys screaming the f word (and a bunch of other nasty words) at the top of their lungs at each other. I snapped. I yelled, "Hey! There are little kids listening, here! Clean it up!" Well, they stopped, but I got flipped off when I drove out of the parking lot. I didn't even care. If it were my kids speaking like that, I would want someone to stop them.

    Anyway, a few years ago, I would never have done anything like that.

  2. I don't think you blew it out of proportion. There are two many rude healhcare workers out there and she needed to be put in her place. She needed your feedback and maybe she will become a more compassionate person because of it. Poor Coop - he didn't deserve that!

  3. I agree - that doesn't sound like you blew anything out of proportion. Good for you for speaking up - helping Cooper AND future babies she works with.

  4. Good for you.....absolutely necessary and sounds like you did it in an amazing way...not judgmental and confrontational but necessary.

    And what pay-off....for Cooper and anyone else she may work with!

    Good job!