Monday, September 9, 2013

FYI: Seeking Early Intervention for Children Is OK

I took a break from blogging for a while to dedicate more time to my family especially my youngest Ashley.

From the time Ashley started to walk at 13 months I was starting to suspect something. I brought it up to my pediatrician at her 15 month visit. Ashley wasn't talking or point to what she wanted. She would only say "Ma" and that was all. I would see the timeline for kids in her age range and she was not hitting them.

At this point, my pediatrician referred me to "Early Intervention" (EI)  My Dr. said she had a speech delay. This was a program offered free through the state and would give her the therapy she needed. Now I started to research the "EI" program and had tons of advice from family and friends.

We were told that this "EI" program labels your child so once they started to go to school they would be considered in special education (Sp.Ed.). Also kids that graduate H.S. are given a diploma with label for Sp.Ed. Among other things, that this is money that is given to the state so the more kids in it the more $$ they get. My husband and I were worried as we didn't want her to get labeled. So we sought the private sector for therapy.

We enrolled her in NYU Steinhardt Speech and Communications Disorder Center. She had been seeing a speech therapist since November of last year. In May, the therapist and supervisors suggested we seek "Early Intervention" for Ashley again. Now, because of everything we were told, my husband and I were opposed. We asked them for more therapy and thus started this summer with therapy 4x a week.

I noticed that the speech therapy was helping but not enough. She did start to say "bubbles" and "ball" but could not make eye contact, stay focus, sit still, or point to what she wanted. Again that gut feeling I call "Mother's Intuition" I knew that somehow something had changed. She started to suck on her shirt, stick her hands in her ears when there was noise or without noise.  I told my husband and we observed her. I spoke to a couple of people who had gone through the "EI" program. They made me realize not to be afraid of a label as it does not make my daughter. The "EI" program does not keep your child just to get the $$. Once a child has reached the level that they are improved they are taken out of the program. I saw this first hand from a couple of friends who had children in this program. So bottom line is you are the best judge for your children, as you are with them 24/7.   Don't listen to everyone even though they have the best of intentions they do mean well, but you have to do what is the best for your child.

I told my husband I was going to start the process again to get her into "Early Intervention". At this point, I was told by NYU to seek it for her again. I was given a progress note to give to "EI". I read it and didn't know that my daughter was at a 3-6 month and 6-9 month in certain areas. She sounds like a baby babbling and not a 26 months old. This was that gut feeling I was having that was telling me something was wrong and the report proved it.

She has been diagnosed with PDD-NOS. You can research it and see what it means, I just cannot go write about it now. I am still coming to grips with it. It hurts to see my daughter not able to communicate with me to tell me that she is hungry, sleepy, or needs a change of diaper. She has sensory problems that affect her and with the ABA therapy it will hopefully get better. 

I am hopeful that this blog post will help others seek the treatment that is available. Don't let a label stop you from getting the help that your kids need. Each state has there own form of Early Intervention seek it out and get informed.

Above all trust your "Mother's Intuition", that gut feeling that tells you when something is wrong. Do not ignore it. When caught early the developmental delays with treatment can help your child in the long run. Delaying it will only hurt your child down the road when they enter school. So do your homework and research, ask your doctors so your children will get better.
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6 comments:

  1. It makes me happy to see mothers that truly care about the well-being of their children. Many blessings of strength, compassion & love.

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  2. I totally agree. The earlier the better on most things.

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  3. Good on you for seeking early intervention (I'm not sure what it's called over here). You may not see your child on the same timeline as others, but those acheivements she makes will be much bigger ones. You've got her help and I'm sure she'll come on leaps and bounds with therapy. Take care.

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  4. That's great that you were paying attention and got the earl intervention. That will benefit her greatly in the long run. You go Momma!

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  5. I have some experience with it so I hope your little one will be within a high-functioning group of people having this disorder.
    Now you know what this is so your little angel can get the attention and help she needs.
    Stay positive and take care.

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  6. Women are encouraged to follow their intuition and to trust in their body’s ability to give birth... that's all I can say ...

    will salute all mommys all over the world..

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