Monday, July 28, 2014

Therapeutic Changes

With the change in the ISP year just around the corner, there will be changes in the therapeutic supports put into place for Lyn.

Physical therapy is being introduced.  She will work with a physical therapist who will focus on exercises which will help with her balance and mobility.  The therapist will conduct the sessions with Lyn at day hab.  The sessions will include one of the day hab staff members so that the therapist can teach the exercises to the staff.  By teaching the exercises to the day hab staff, Lyn can be encouraged to complete the regimen of exercises multiple times in between each visit by the therapist.

Behavior therapy is also being introduced.  We've long said that Lyn "isn't a behavior problem."  However, it turns out that a behaviorist may be able to help identify strategies which may be used to ease some of Lyn's paranoia and anxiety.  We're just at the beginning of what is needed to identify a behaviorist and begin to work with one.  So, at this time, we don't yet know where or when Lyn will receive behavior therapy.  The allowance for behavior therapy has always been available to Lyn.  It is only recently, with the on-going changes in her, that it has been deemed a good time to add this therapy into her active supports.

The physical and behavior therapies will be allotted at a higher amount than the speech therapy because they are just now being introduced.  The amount allotted is also dependent upon Lyn's SIS classification which is at a level F for the year.  This means that Lyn's capabilities are lower than previously assessed when she was classified at a B or D.

Speech therapy is being reduced to a 30 hour a year limit because the state changed the allotment for established therapies.  As a result, Lyn will no longer be seeing her speech therapist for one hour a week.  We are concerned that this state-mandated reduction will have a significant negative impact on Lyn and are actively investigating switching this therapy to self-pay to maintain her at her current level of care.  If we start paying out of pocket for Lyn's speech therapy, the therapist is freed from having to write reports and keep her work on the client's case or with the client to a limit set by anyone other than the client.

None of this will slow down the progression of the disease.  So, you may ask, why do it?  The answer is simple, really.  If the therapeutic supports make caring for Lyn a little easier, if they make getting through the day easier from Lyn's perspective, then they're worth the time and effort put into them.  If the behaviorist can provide us with guidance on how to interact with Lyn when she's in an anxious or paranoid state, then we're all better off.

Caring for other may be a natural skill set for some people.  However, most of us have no idea how to interact with someone as their brain is changing and making them more fractious.  While we can handle the basics of personal care including feeding and cleaning, the additional strategies help raise the level of care provided to Lyn and help us continue to treat her with dignity and respect.


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