I’m Thankful For You: My Son’s Occupational Therapist

(Editor’s Note: This article was provided by Valerie McMahon and is part of Cooper’s, ‘I’m Thankful For You’ Campaign.)

This November I would like to honor and thank my son’s Occupational Therapist, Debbie. I can’t thank her enough for the help she has given us.

A little bit about our family! We moved from Maine to South Carolina when our son was 18 months old. My husband, Patrick’s dad, is a State Trooper and I am a stay at home mom. In my gut I knew he wasn’t a typical child, he had severe acid reflux, he stimmed, flapped a little and lost any language he started having around age one. Once we got him his new doctor, she had us go for speech therapy and occupational therapy. That is when we met Debbie.

Our son started seeing Debbie for Occupational Therapy right after he turned two. After a few months of working with Patrick, she planted the seed in my mind to look into diet change for him. So I did. I looked into it, researched it and researched it, and took the jump to go Gluten free, dairy free and dye free. During this time was when she mentioned that we should get him assessed for Autism. I cried. As I’m sure we all did and still sometimes do and she cried with me. She talked to me, she was there with me, but more importantly, she was there for him.

Before implementing diet changes, he would pinch, scratch and push. Not anymore. Once his diet changed, he became more engaged and he was no longer aggressive. Then she planted the seed to look at probiotics and good vitamins and the list went on as to how I could help heal his gut.

If it was not for Debbie and her wonderful suggestions for a lifestyle change, I honestly do not think he would be where he is now.

Today, Patrick is five. He loves Thomas the Train, Veggie Tales and Little Einstein’s. He loves to play with toys and play outside on swings and the slide. He is silly and funny and has the cutest giggle and you can’t help but laugh with him. Patrick has been attending our county’s special Pre-K program since he was three. He absolutely loves going to school. And even though he is nonverbal, he can spell sentences!

I don’t think I could ever thank Debbie enough for all the help and information she has given us to help him and for all the help she gave to him during therapy.

Debbie, we thank you for everything from from the bottom of our hearts!

You can still nominate the doctors, therapists, teachers, friends and family that make a difference in your special needs world. Click HERE to learn how!

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  • Diana Fitts

    November 27, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    Hooray for OT! As an OT myself, I'm so happy to read stories like yours and know that our profession is making a difference. Best, Diana www.thesensorytoolbox.com

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!


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