An Open Letter to My Child’s Physical Therapist

Dear P.T.,

It’s been over two years since you first came into our lives. Back then, Charlie was only 9 months old, and he had recently been diagnosed with a gross motor delay because he still wasn’t sitting up well. Through a series of referrals and evaluations, God led you to us.

From the very first day you saw him, you saw his potential. You saw his sweetness. You saw right through all the “cannots” and “what ifs.” Charlie warmed up to you more quickly than anyone I’ve ever seen. He’s a good judge of character.  

You always believed in him. Some days, I think you believed more than I did. You were there for doctor appointments where they diagnosed Charlie with more and more delays and prescribed braces and I was consumed with fear. You were there for blood draws and x-rays and specialist visits. You brought in colleagues to see Charlie and give second opinions.  You tolerated my random text messages after too much late-night Web MD, but you never trivialized my concerns.  

You persisted. You believed. And that has made all the difference.

When the first set of braces didn’t work for Charlie, you brought out different pairs from your stash to share. When we couldn’t make our regular therapy times in a given week, you bent over backwards to find a time that worked.  When other providers made observations or diagnoses that weren’t consistent with what you knew or saw, you advocated for him.

When Charlie stood up for the first time, you were almost as excited as I was. Somewhere along the way, your therapy notes replaced his baby book, because you documented every wonderful aspect of his development week-by-week.  

When he started pushing a wagon around, you analyzed his gait patterns with me through weekend video text messages. When Charlie struggled to balance and build strength, you brought a new toy, tool, or trick to try every week. Even though you made him work hard in sessions, you found ways to make it fun and he delighted in seeing you at the door.

You persisted. You believed. And that has made all the difference.

Charlie walking towards me.

 

You knew that the specialist said that children who don’t walk by two often never walk. You didn’t seem to care. You pushed right past that imaginary deadline and kept working, even while I struggled to hide tears at his second birthday and struggled to have faith that he would ever “catch up.”  A few months later, when Charlie walked at 27 months, you said, “I knew he would do it.” 

A few months ago, you shared my joy when the developmental specialist called him a “miracle” and said she’d never seen a child so far behind catch up so completely.  

I don’t know that I’ll ever convey how much it has meant to feel like Charlie had someone (other than a parent) “on his side” all along.  Now, as he approaches three and no long qualifies for your services, I can’t help but feel like we are losing part of his family.  While I’m so glad that Charlie has more time for play and less need for therapy, I hope that I can continue to support him as fully as I have with your help. 

You persisted.  You believed. And that has made all the difference.  

We will be forever grateful.

Love,

Charlie’s Mom

Thanks also due to Rainbows United, who employs Charlie’s physical therapist and provides amazing services at no cost. 

 

 

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