Friday, November 19, 2010

Early Intervention Personal Perceptions

I am not one the parents with children who have extra needs who dislikes Early Interventions (EI).  In fact, anything that may help Cameran I am all for.  I am at a place where I neither feel jilted nor jaded by the EI system.  In fact, reading other blog posts has actually made me aware that we have it pretty stinkin' good in Pennsylvania.  One hundred percent is covered, AND therapists come to our house.  It is a win-win.  I have posted before that I think Cameran being our first child has helped because we have no basis of comparison.

And it's true.  The amount of evenings we dedicate to EIs and appointments is our "norm".  Even though it is sometimes annoying to need to rush out of work to get home in time to beat Cameran's therapists to the front door, it still is for the betterment of my daughter, and I couldn't live with myself thinking that I didn't do everything possible for her.  She is at daycare during the day, and they are wonderfully accomodating of all of her special needs and therapies.  In fact one way accomodate our schedule to fit in her therapies consisting of a Special Instructor (SI) similar to a play therapist, Occupational Therapist (OT), and Physical Therapist (PT) is to have them go to daycare one week, and to our home on the alternating week.  We have done this a variety of ways.  For a while, at home we had entire weeks off and Cameran was seen at daycare three times.  Now, for example, we have PT and SI at the house the same week that OT goes to daycare, and the next week it is just OT at the house and PT and SI go to daycare.  It really varies, and everyone is quite flexible.  I know it is also not that easy for everyone.  Our experiences have been exceptionally positive.  All three therapists are punctual, and if they do get stuck in traffic, always call or send a text message.  When sessions are missed due to unforseen circumstances on either end, we are quick to communicate, and make-up sessions always follow.

That stated, I also have not jumped on every bandwagon/homeopathic treatment available.  There is a lot to be said for NutriVene and other supplements being able to enhance individuals with Ds and their potential, however, because of Cameran's involvement with Western medicines due to her infantile spasm seizures, GERD, etc., I do not feel putting more foreign substances into her little body is of benefit now.  In the future, who knows?!

Basically I have found families fall into one of several camps when it comes to EI:
-those who are all for it, and if it helps, great, and if it doesn't, then at least it is one more person positively interacting with said child (This is my crew if you couldn't tell.  Would Cameran have been sitting up at X month without intervention? Who knows, but she did, she can, and EI surely did not hurt her.)
-skeptics who try and later bail, whether for financial reasons, personal reasons, or scheduling reasons
-larger families who have enough family members to keep the LO with special needs movin' and groovin' without the need of therapists
-those who think EI is bogus/waste of time either because they had bad experiences or just plain found it inconvenient
-those who are all about vitamins/supplements/alterna-therapies

I am sure there are more, but these seem to be the main sets of feelings regarding EI.  One is not more correct than the other.  I am sure if I had a family of six, and stayed at home I might feel differently about the value of someone coming into my home x times a week/month,etc.  In fact, the social interactions of a larger family alone are reason enough to rationally justify not needing a SI.  However, hubs and myself like to do parent-ish (I know, I know, English teacher using a non-word) things with Cami, and not always worry whether or not we are interacting in a way that is engaging her gross-motor skills, etc.  Sometimes it is nice to know that we can snuggle and kiss and hug her all evening long, and the PT will be out tomorrow to work on x,y, and z skill sets. 

Am I articulating well?  I am not sure. 

Bottom line: EI works for us.  It isn't for everyone.  I am not a judgemental person by nature, so to each his own.  Ryan and I have forged relationships with each of Cami's therapists, and respect them as teachers/therapists/sounding-boards-confidants/friends.  They have provided us with excellent connections and resources in the Ds community that we would not have known about otherwise. 

Cameran loves them.

AND THEY LOVE CAMERAN.  (Who doesn't want people doting on their child, expecting the best for him/her?)


  1. Oh, I NEVER thought EI was a waste. I am so grateful for it, and think it did a world of good. Not like I had been expecting Samantha to get up and walk after our PT sessions, but at least we could learn from the PT all those wonderful ways to teach Samantha, to help her progress. There's a lot of parental responsibility involved, and I just hope everyone understands that the therapists are there to help the parents continue teaching their child between sessions.

    Cameran's a real cutie!! :-)

  2. It's funny that you said that you're glad that Cami is your first, because I always say I'm glad Kamdyn wasn't my first, or I probably would have been worried sick all the time. I guess it just goes to show that there is positive in any situation, if you are open to see it. I love EI. I said from the very beginning that I would get whatever was available. We are getting ready to increase OT to every week, and then we'll have PT, SI, and OT once a week. My older kids love to play and interact with Kamdyn too, so she's definitely getting a lot of interaction.

  3. Great blog, Jen. You're an awesome mother!

  4. I always loved EI. There were days when I wished I could get out of the house more with my other kids (Grace initially had 6 hours of therapy a week in home) or didn't feel like cleaning my house before another appointment. But I was always so thankful for the therapy and the people that came to our home and loved on my daughter. I know that she would not be where she is today without EI.


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