Thursday, November 19, 2009

Constructive Criticism

So, I'm on a couple of newsgroups. Some of them I really like. Some of them are just garbage.

I find out about a lot of different PT approaches/"alternative" therapies through these groups. One person in particular caught my attention--she is a grown woman, with spastic diplegia, who keeps an open mind concerning techniques that might facilitate her movement. I figured, here is someone who may be like a Grown Up E, who might be able to give me some insight as to what it's like to be a kid/teen/adult living with CP.

So I emailed her, and asked her if she would read this blog. And that I would appreciate any comments she had.

Overall, she was very nice. I didn't ask her to be nice, but I certainly value it. She thinks E is adorable, and that she's nicely challenged and doing very well. She also had some choice words for ME.

"You need to stop nagging" (in terms of E's posture) was her big criticism. And you know what? It burned. Ouch. Jason and I (constantly) remind E about her form to try to help her...but that comment was SPOT ON.

She's right. E tunes us out when we bark at her to "keep her feet down" or "stand up straight" or [insert voice cue here]. We praise her too, but it's drowned out by "posture nagging". I DO think voice cues are important, but obviously they aren't going to work well if she's peppered with them every three seconds by her parents. I wish someone had brought it up sooner, we didn't realize how often we do it.

So, point taken. And thank you.


Anonymous said...

I find myself doing the same thing with my DD. It's hard sometimes to figure out the right balance between supportive/encouraging mom and nagging pseudotherapist (I am a PT anyway, so it just oozes out of me). I hope in the long run my DD will know I only nagged with love in my heart. I worry sometimes she will think that I think she isn't good enough, and that's why I ride her so hard sometimes. But when you can see your child is capable of great things, you want him/her to live up to their fullest potential. Others seem to want to go easy on my DD - I say "why?" - she's tough, she's capable, so she needs to work hard to achieve all she can.

As an aside, thank you for this blog - my DD faces many of the same challenges as E - it means a lot to know we aren't alone.

mom to Ashlyn

Fancy Pancakes said...

I think constructive criticism is such a great thing- especially for people who are almost perfect at what they do- just to get that extra push to do better is pretty awesome. I'm glad the criticism resonated, made sense, and is something you can work toward! As a teacher, I know it's hard to always do it right with kids... and to have another person give feedback is valuable even if it can be hard to take.

Anonymous said...

I'm a PT, too, and I tell parents the truth - that verbal cues are not effective for changing motor patterns.

I've just done a quick scan of the top page, but I suspect you are aware of just about every approach available.

She is young enough to expect more improvement. Barbara

Chris said...

Hey Amy - I think that is just good parenting advice period. I catch myself doing that with my daughters too. Thanks for the reminder.