Onto the third week of blog hopping

As you can see from the picture above, this week’s topic is about assessment of a child with special needs.  When Nathan was born, we had tons of paperwork, pamphlets and such “thrown” at us from the hospitals and doctors.  Most of it was somewhat outdated, but some of it actually directed us to the Early Intervention world in which we now live.

For those of you unaware of what Early Intervention is, it’s a program that provides various therapies and services for ages birth through three years.  Early Intervention programs vary by state and New York happens to have one of the best out there.

When a child is identified to possibly need services from EI, they have to be evaluated to see if they qualify.  Nathan, due to the diagnosis of Down syndrome, will always qualify.  It is one on the list that basically gives the stamp of approval for all services.  Usually there has to be a certain percentage of delay (I believe it’s 33% in NY), in order to gain these services.

So when the therapists talk about evaluating Nathan, or we have to have an annual review for our family’s IFSP (Individualized Family Service Plan), it is not something I look forward to.  All of our therapists are wonderful, but it’s hard to hear how delayed your child is from a bunch of different reports.  We are coming up on his two year annual review, and I can say that it definitely gets easier.  On the other hand, it makes me think about the AMOUNT of therapy Nathan receives.  On a typical week, here is what his therapy schedule looks like…

Monday: Speech Therapy, Tuesday: Special Instructor and Physical Therapy, Wednesday: Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy, Thursday: Special Instructor, Feeding Therapy and Physical Therapy, Friday: Occupational Therapy

Now that may not look like that much, but Nathan gets a total of 9 therapies a week.  Sometimes I question if it’s too much.  Does he need all of these therapies?  Is it too overwhelming to have therapists in and out every single day?  But then I see progress.  I see him do something he couldn’t do the week before, and I know that it is worth it.  I am a supporter of Early Intervention, and since I cannot be home full-time, I think it is well worth it for Nathan to have all of these therapists in his life.  Plus, they all ADORE him, and he adores them in return.  There are some families that may disagree, and some that completely refuse EI services, and that is completely OK.  But in our situation, it is what’s best for Nathan and what helps him achieve his goals.

If you want to learn more about Early Intervention in New York, click here.  You’d be amazed at all of the offerings.

Keep checking back for another blog hop post next week!  But before we depart, check out this adorable new video…