Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Winning Investment

Sean and I were being nostalgic today – the day after his 14th birthday.  We were driving to music therapy as we’ve done every other Tuesday for the last 7 years.

He’s been obsessed lately about what he was like when he was little.  He wanted to know if we thought it was maturation or the therapies that helped get him to this point in his life.

I told him that I honestly thought it was both.

And then I told him how he used to scream and scream and scream some more every time we took him to therapy.

If it was occupational therapy he screamed.

Music therapy… he screamed.

It didn’t matter where he was going or what he was doing… Sean screamed.

I’d sit out in the waiting room silently dying inside wondering if I was doing the right thing for him.

Rich would take him and come home and ask, “Why?” 

At the time it seemed like we were throwing money out of our moving car.

But eventually the screaming subsided.  He still occasionally will ask when it will be over but even that has become less important these days.

Sean doesn’t see music therapy as therapy.  I think he sees it as a time when he can visit with an old friend.  Sean and Mr. Craig joke, laugh and “be guys” while I nap in the waiting room.

In between my dreams I listen to how Sean has improved in following a rhythm or striking the drum without the force of a strongman hitting a bell at the carnival.

Sean’s doing his therapy and loving it.

He’s come a long way….

Sean also asked me today what kinds of therapies we’ve had him in over the years.

Wow… let’s see….





Social Group.


Fine and gross motor physical therapy.

But never speech….  The school district and the insurance were both against it.  Hopefully the “dis” and “dat” will cease once the braces are off next year.

Can I say what’s worked and what hasn’t?  No.  I always thought everything had potential.  Some worked better simply because they adapted into our lives easier than others.

As for how much we spent?  Sean was curious so I gave him an estimate for the last 8 years. 


Then I thought…. No…. $10,000.


Let’s see…. $50 for each session of that therapy for 26 weeks, $1400 for 10 sessions of another, $20 every two weeks for that one, $40 each for 20 sessions of the other… plus $140 for headphones, another $140 for a heavy blanket…. Plus gas….

Scary that all that was simply out-of-pocket expenses…

Don’t forget all the “toys” that we bought that were really to combat his autism and physical difficulties.  Balance balls and hippity hops to gain core strength so he could sit up in a chair.  The mini-trampoline was for sensory needs.  The outdoor playset helped him with coordination.  The instruments were there so we could play with him and get him used to us making noise.

What about the fidget toys?  The countless fidget toys that would be mangled and destroyed almost daily.  Even now there’s a bin of them in his room, some in the cubby of his loftbed and in various drawers throughout the house.

They are always at the ready.

$10,000 doesn’t even come close!

Sean was somewhat shocked and stated that it was as expensive as buying a new car.

And then he asked if it was worth it.


Worth it?

I looked over at him sitting next to me in the car… so strong….actually carrying on a conversation with me… and replied…

“Yes, Sean.  It was all worth it.”