Friday, June 6, 2008

Double Edged Sword

Today held a bizarre mix of happiness and disappointment. The Early Intervention (Sooner Start or EI) came out for Anna's official evaluations. The two ladies who came out were a nurse and an occupational therapist. If you will recall from earlier posts, I think I explained how a child has to be 50% delayed in one area or 25% delayed in two areas to qualify for services. Well, Anna fell through the cracks. She is 33% delayed in fine motor skills and 15% delayed in communication skills so she does not meet either set of criteria. Don't get me wrong, I am glad my child is mostly on track, but I know she needs help and we do not qualify at this point. The ladies were so kind though and explained how the testing is kind of crappy because it looks at if a child can do a skill but not the quality of that skill. For instance, Anna can pick up and hold a toy but the effort it takes sometimes is exhausting for her and it may take quite a few misses of the toy to finally get it. I am disappointed that she cannot get therapy now but the EI ladies spent quite a bit of time with us today showing us things we can do to try and help Anna right now. They are also going to bring us some braces/splints for Anna's hands to try and get her to quit holding her thumbs inward in a fist. The occupational therapist (OT) thinks Anna's deficit is mostly in the "motor planning" area. The OT will help us as she is able even though we do not qualify. She was so kind. The plan is for them to come back out at 9 months and reevaluate. They feel that she will no doubt qualify at that time. If for some reason she doesn't they will petition for her to receive services anyway based on their opinions. They will have to say that they feel that even though she can pass the tests that without intervention she will suffer and likely regress or fail to progress. They both firmly believe this will be the case, that she will fail to progress without intervention, so I feel they will do what it takes to get her on their services. They said that at 9 months a baby is expected to do so much with fine motor like stacking blocks, etc that they do not feel Anna will be able to do so they feel she will qualify without a problem at that time. So, like I said, it is a double edged sword. I am happy she is doing well but sad that she cannot get the help she needs right now to keep her from falling further behind. It just seems so crazy to make a child fall further behind to be able to intervene when early intervention is the whole point of the program. I will not harp on it though, I feel fortunate to be connected with people who will help us when and how they can even if the numbers do not add up. Kenneth and I actually went out on a date without the kids tonight. It was so nice and refreshing. We are mending the wounds and getting back on track and for that I am so grateful. We were too busy worrying about the kids and forgot about each other. I felt angry and he felt neglected. Neither was a good place to be. We had a great time tonight though and hope to repeat a date night at least every other week to keep us from growing apart again. We are a family and we must remain that way. We promised God and we promised each other.

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