Occupational Gymnastics

I visited my friend's girls' gymnastics class yesterday to check it out. The Kiddos were both in gymnastics starting a year ago for about 6 months. I have mixed feelings about our experience then. First, I was the only parent at Mommy and Me class with 2 kids. One that was exhibiting avoidance behaviors and one that felt like he needed to act like his big brother. Second, I think the coach contributed massively to The Elder's first evaluation leading to a misdiagnosis. Well, an UNdiagnosis, which is worse. What really sucked is that I like her and she handled both of them very well and I trusted her because she has private lessons with children with autism and even mentioned to me how The Elder's actions resembled those students of hers. But when we "graduated" to the preschooler class (without Mommies) he did a 180 in the behavior department, which the finger was pointed at me (which is why the psych suggested a parenting therapist for me - pffft!). Never mind that he was in a class with his brother and other children of that age before, and then switched to a class with 4 year olds (The Elder was 3 at the time). Never mind that it was a LOT more structured and not a "free play" session like it was with the toddlers. No, it's my parenting. (But I'm not bitter.)

I digress...

So as I was saying, I went to observe this class and was really impressed with it. The other gym was a competitive gym for gymnastics and cheerleading. They had 2-3 classes going on at the same time in a HUGE open gym (not overstimulating at all - pffft). But this place was a cozy gym with smaller equipment and classical music playing in the background. Very structured and the instructor works with a variety of special needs children. Her class reminded me more of The Elder's occupational therapy sessions than what he was doing in gymnastics. For example, they went from station to station and eventually built up to an obstacle course of 3 stations. Well, that would work on his ability to follow more than 2 directives in a series. One station was the balance beam (vestibular therapy), then it was donkey kicks with a trampoline and they had to recite a letter during each kick which she had laid out for them (lots of good things from that - kinesthetic learning, coordination, um, what else?), then the last station was a low beam where they had to pick up "ice cream" and velcro them on the sides of the beam in different pre-set locations, and then go back and get them and put them back in the "ice cream" bucket. As you can see, I can see this being very very good for The Elder.

But as always, fees are always an issue. She is much less expensive than the other gym so that is a plus, especially for what you get. She is also cheaper per class than our co-pay was when he was having OT. Next Thursday we have a meeting at The Elder's school to discuss the results of his OT evaluation. It is so obvious that he needs it, but I still have that fear that they aren't going to grant him the services. At least I have another option if it turns out he has been "performing" well for the therapist at school.

I wonder if gymnastics is a tax deduction....

7 Responses to "Occupational Gymnastics"

Elissa - Managing Autism (visit their site)

What a horrible first time experience for you! I think it's terrible when people look straight at your parenting skills - we've been there before!!!

Sounds like this new Gym is perfect (I'd like one of those for my kids!), but of course the fees... it's never ending is it? With so many therapies that my son 'could' be having, I find it comes down to 'what is cost effective'... not always the best way to choose but definitely neccessary!

And wouldn't it be nice if such things were a tax deduction!?!

Jen (visit their site)

Not insurance... but a pretax reimbursement account maybe? Ky's social skills group was briefly covered without question. Then the declared that he needs a note of medical necessity (which I'm too lazy to get... ) but it's something?

Mandolin Mom (visit their site)

Not sure about tax deductible in the direct sense, but we've been able to apply the girl's horse riding therapy at STAR toward our Flex medical account. Obviously not as good as if it was covered by insurance, but at least we don't pay tax dollars on that money.

Marla (visit their site)

Sounds like this gym may be good. I wish that stuff was a tax deduction.

We tried many different gymnastics, ballet, dance and the list goes on. Maizie always wants to do it but it never works out. She just can not cope in those places. I finally gave up on those types of activities.

I hope you have a better experience.

We always had a tough time getting OT and PT coverage since she could do just enough to get by in school. Eventually the school stopped those services and I lost the battle so we did it privately. I must say she made hige gains in the private OT and PT rather than the school services.

Marla (visit their site)

I am really enjoying your blog and would like to put it on my Blog Roll. Would you please put my blog on yours? marlabaltes.blogspot.com
Also, my daughter who is nine and autistic has her own blog I help her with. Would you put hers on your roll too?
www.maiziebaltes.blogspot.com

Jen P (visit their site)

Marla, Done and Done! Thanks for stopping by. I find it amazing sometimes that people enjoy reading about my life, but then again, I enjoy reading about everyone else's too! I guess it is the community and knowing that you're not alone. Come back soon!

Anonymous (visit their site)

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