Would you buy it?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by house of cards, Apr 4, 2008.

  1. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    I have been having more difficulty with my 9 yo difficult child so I am trying to help distress his life in any way I can. He is taking Occupational Therapist (OT) outside of the school setting for penmanship and sensory issues trying to reduce stress. The Occupational Therapist (OT) sees his emotional reactivity as possible frustration with not processing the conversation properly. I know he misunderstands things, I see it as his faulty black and white thought process but it could be from auditory problems?? She doesn’t feel he needs a hearing evaluation thou.

    Anyway I have been advised to purchase a listening program to help him by the Occupational Therapist (OT). There are a few ways to go but the one being recommended is pricey. I would definitely buy it if it would improve things even 10 or 20% but I don’t want to just throw money away. It is only able to be purchased thru an Occupational Therapist (OT) and is customized for each child, being the cheapskate that I am, I would like to try to get 3 kids able to use it. It has “too good to be true” claims about helping all kinds of things yet my Occupational Therapist (OT) is well respected, I asked another Occupational Therapist (OT) and she supports it. Have any of you went thru a program like this and did you find it helpful?
    I am hopeful but suspicious. T
     
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Kathie,

    We used several of those programs. If you PM me the name of the one you are thinking of, I could let you know if we had any experience with it, as well as our opinions of the ones we did use.
     
  3. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    JJJ, I have tried to send you a pm, did it work?
     
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I have not heard of anything like this. I am super skeptical of anything that sounds too good to be true, even if it CAN be customized for a specific person. Just me.

    Maybe you can let us all know how it goes? I would be interested in hearing how it works out and the pros and cons of it.
     
  5. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Which program is it, house of cards? There are a number of them and can be helpful it they're the right match for the child. The problem, of course, is that you won't know that unless you make the leap.

    For what it's worth, I wouldn't be purchasing a language processing program through an Occupational Therapist (OT).
     
  6. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    HoC, wee difficult child's OTs were AWESOME and both recommended something like this. Unfortunately, they both became pregnant and quit work before we were able to implement it, however, one Occupational Therapist (OT) went to a conference in Chicago just for my difficult child and was thoroughly impressed with it. I don't recall the name, however, it was in coroboration with a widely accepted sensory specialist.

    She also came home with a gem of a clue - for many kids, the music from Mortal Combat playing in the background helps them focus. I had actually forgotten that until just now, I'm going to have to dig out my mortal combat cd...it helped difficult child focus at Occupational Therapist (OT).

    I've shoved so many things to the back of my mind...thanks for posting this!
     
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We had Dore ring us up trying to sell us a program. I'm just using it as an example.

    I watched the video they sent me, I looked up information about them, the more I read the more I thought, "Why is this so expensive?" Then I noted the marketing (very labour-intensive, a lot of people involved) and figured why.

    I talked to my sister - I remembered when her son was younger (about 30 years ago) an Occupational Therapist (OT) gave them some worksheets and showed them how to modify basic equipment to make balance boards, a cargo net swing etc and gave them some exercises to do with him, such as put him in the cargo net swing and while he is swinging, throw him a large ball. He had to throw the ball and catch it, while swinging, while balancing, etc. They set it up in their garage and found it helped him a lot. All it cost was the time and the materials to make the stuff.

    I've since heard that the bloke who 'invented' the Dore program was a father of a child in a similar situation. He put to commercial use the stuff he learned while trying to help his daughter, and this program is the result. A lot of the equipment is now hi-tech, but I've used the same hi-tech equipment at a medical centre which was trying to assess my balance.

    Is Dore a good program? Probably. Does it have to be so expensive? I don't think so, not if you do it yourself the way my sister did. But the more you use professional support and make appointments etc, the more investment you have in continuing with the program and really working with it.

    For us? We can't afford it, plus the centres are too far away for us to get to. But we can do our own version of it, just as my sister did for her son.

    Anyway, that was just an example. Sometimes you need to really look into something to see if you can find another way, especially if you can't really afford what is being suggested.

    Another example - a neighbour sells a certain juice promoted as an antioxidant. She swears by it, says it's really good for treating kids with ADHD. Her own daughter has brain damage following surgery, she reckons it's been a great help to her daughter. The hype says it will cure everything (which is as impossible a claim as "universal solvent" - what would you keep it in?) and has a very long list of conditions allegedly helped by this magic juice. It really does sound too good to be true. But the darn stuff costs several hundred dollars a bottle.
    She sells it to various families in the neighbourhood that she knows and is very vocal about "parents who drug their children into submission". She also tries to recruit other people to sell it too, because selling this stuff is also a lucrative part-time job.
    The thing is, it's a disguised pyramid scheme. For every sale, she gets commission. Fair enough. But for every seller she recruits, she gets to buy the stuff more cheaply. It's set up so if she recruits two other sellers, she gets the stuff at half price (I'm approximating here).
    An Aussie consumer magazine recently analysed the antioxidant power of this stuff and the results were that you can get more antioxidant benefit from eating an apple.
    People see "antioxidant" in a label and feel justified in spending a lot of money on a product, but we forget - Vitamin C is an antioxidant. Often where a product is marketed (for a higher price) with a label saying "antioxidant added" but doesn't tell you WHICH antioxidant, chances are it's just got a spoonful of ascorbic acid, which you can buy in a large jar for a few dollars.

    So without knowing more about this program, I can't tell you any more. Except to say - if it sounds too good to be true, and you get the feeling that the price has been set purely because enough desperate parents will pay up, then go cautiously.

    Marg
     
  8. Christy

    Christy New Member

    I would be concerned if the program can only be purchased through the Occupational Therapist (OT). You should be able to research its effectiveness and perhaps find a cheaper version elsewhere.
    Good Luck
     
  9. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Yes, it could be an auditory processing problem.

    No use putting a cast on the right leg when it's the left arm that is broken. So, before I invested in a program such as this, I'd have an audiologist with a subspecialty in auditory processing disorder test him.

    This type testing requires highly specialized equipment.

    Subsequently, I'd have a Speech-Language Pathologist test him.

    With info from the audiologist and Speech Language Pathologist (SLP), a treatment plan can be devised if it's needed.
     
  10. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    I don't think I am supposed to use program names here but if you google "listening programs" it should be one of the first on the list. It is ten CDs that basically play classical music with the high and low frequencies altered. I was thinking I would try using just regular classical CDs with good headphones. But I am still researching, I plan on asking psychiatrist as well as anybody else that might have an opinion. If I get it and it works I will surely let you all know.
     
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I had a look at it and also Googled for Australia only. In Australia, doctors are not permitted to advertise personally; however, a lot of them get around this by advertising their clinics and their services in other ways.

    It was very interesting to NOT find much on this in Australia. Another point - if this is a recognised modality, in Australia we can claim part of the cost back through either public or private health insurance. I'd have to make further enquiries but I'm not sure if this would be covered. I believe Dore is not covered, for example.

    Looking at it in detail, it sounds like it would work really well, providing your child genuinely has the sort of problems this would address. And I can't see how an Occupational Therapist (OT) would know this. This comes under the scope of a speech and language pathologist, as far as I can determine. Without an assessment indicating that your child has a problem with clearly identifying and distinguishing certain sounds, this might be an expensive waste of money and time.

    If, on the other hand, your child really does have this sort of problem and you can afford the time and effort needed and know he would be compliant, then yes, go for it.

    I do worry about things like this - they could be so good, or they could be an expensive rip-off. Desperate families are ripe for exploitation. There are some really good alternative modalities which might be really helpful, except some person has patented the practice or some aspect of it, so therapy is only available to the rich. Where a service is exclusive, in that they can only take on a small number of clients perhaps because they don't want to share too much information and hence be undercut, then economic laws of supply and demand mean that the program is often priced really high, to the point where few people apply; just enough for the therapist to make bucketloads.

    Sometimes a program is expensive due to the need to involve staff intensively. This of course pushes costs up which pushes price up; but again, only the wealthy can afford it.

    If there were something available which you could administer yourself, such as a set of tapes which you buy and then use at home, such tapes shouldn't cost more than the latest most expensive rock albums. In fact, you should be able to download the files as MP3, perhaps with some royalties included in the pricing (as happens with all performers' popular music).
    Maybe they might use the argument that a lot of professional input has gone into the tapes and the people's work has to be paid - that's where royalties come in. Or they might say, "We're a small concern, demand is low, we're not exactly in the top of the pops, economies of scale are a problem" Not so these days, where rock groups are getting their start by selling their work online only, in MP3 format. A small concern can sell for the same overheads as a big one. A recording artist just getting started can have a few people needing to be paid (including the costs of the video clip) and still sell for a reasonable price online. And if he gets discovered from there, then maybe a record company will pay to produce mass pressings of CDs.

    So there should be no reason for individual tracks, in MP3, to not be available for a price no higher than buying the latest pop song from iTunes. A clinic producing 20 CDs a month should still be able to sell them for the same price as a record company, especially since most of the music they use is outside copyright (so they won't be paying royalties to artists).

    Of course the cost of the program will have to increase for every hour you have to spend with a professional supervising the program. If that professional is doing nothing more than putting headphones on a child who is using equipment which could be available in any home, then someone, somewhere, is making a fast buck of the program. It could be a darn good program, but it's still a rip-off in my book if that is what is happening.

    If the equipment is vastly different in a way which makes a huge difference to the program outcome, then fair enough. But if there are other, cheaper ways of getting the same result - then that should be what is done.

    An example - we had a sales person approach us in the shopping centre. We also saw ads on TV and promotional packages being given away - all for a maths tutoring software package (which I won't name here, they'd sue me). We happily accepted their offer for an in-home consultation (which you have to have, before you can but the package). So after having to pay the person in the shopping centre, and pay for the TV advertising, and cover the costs of the giveaway packages on TV kids game shows, paying the teacher-consultant who came to our home is the next person needing to have their hand out.

    The consultant arrived. He had his own computer (easy child). The software was installed on his computer and we let our kids loose on it. easy child was our main focus at the time - she was about to enter high school, so he tried her on the high school package. She did some maths problems and we noticed the different ways in which the computer can show you how to do the problem. We also noticed that the program was still fairly inflexible in other ways.

    The package - we would have to buy a lesson package which covered half of high school and then another package to cover the later years. It came with free packages in other subjects (spelling & grammar) which frankly we didn't need. But we wouldn't be sent a software package, what happens is that the teacher-consultant comes to your home and installs the package for you. It's copy-protected. If you need to change computers it sounded like a huge problem to then have to get the consultant out again to supervise removing the package from the first computer before he could install it on the new one.

    We were told that a teacher-consultant is available during business hours to talk to about any problem the kid is having. We would have to file weekly reports which the software package would download, so we could say honestly that our child was using the package sufficiently. Failure to do this voided the warranty (which was a guarantee that our child's maths ability would improve).

    We talked to friends, we considered it again (and had another updated consult) when difficult child 3 was beginning home-schooling. And the word came back to us - the always-available phone tutor was almost non-existent after the first few months; trying to keep your kid working was difficult but this family we spoke to managed it; but their child still did not improve and the warranty was never honoured.

    The cost in Australia was somewhere between $6,000 and $8,000. It cost even more if you bought more modules (if you wanted your other children to have access, for example).

    We knocked it back. We would have had to buy a new computer just for that software, anyway - it wasn't available on Mac.

    If that package had been marketed less aggressively, without paying all those teacher-consultant/sales people, it should have been cheap enough to compete in the market place. It also claimed to follow our curriculum - it didn't.

    Since then, we've found an online website to which we can subscribe. It has teachers available to telephone if we need help or any other glitch and yes, they're there - we had to contact them when we had trouble with accessing the website. We have subscribed to it, it costs $99 a year. A big difference to thousands and thousands.

    What I'm trying to say - if a treatment method is good and it works, there should be no need for it to cost far more than seems right. And if it does come with a hefty price tag and you can't afford it, then maybe do the research yourself and see if there is something else around that is cheaper. Alternatively, after you've taught yourself the modality and also worked out how to produce the tapes etc, develop your own program. Most computers these days can modify the frequency output of sound files. We have a neighbour who loves playing with sound files and cleans up the sound on old vinyl records. It's the same technology that can be used to produce this stuff.

    Then you can share your output with your local support group.

    Marg
     
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