Early Intervention

On Monday Olivia had an appointment with the NICU follow-up clinic. It was supposed to be her 9 months adjusted appointment even though she is closer to 10 months at this point. They normally go from a 6 months to a year but because her last appointment didn't work out very well (she was exhausted and didn't interact with the doctor hardly at all) and because we were concerned about her not sitting up we asked for a 9 month one as well. At that point I never really believed that Olivia would not be sitting up by this time. We've been trying to work with her per her pediatricians instructions, but it doesn't seem to have done much good.
This time the appointment went much better from an interaction standpoint. We were able to let Olivia sleep for 2 hours at naptime before waking her up and heading straight for her appointment about an hour and 20 minutes away so she wasn't half-asleep this time. The doctor was pleased with how much verbalizing she was doing (she chattered the whole time), how quickly she figured things out, her fine motor skills, and how alert and curious she was. She tested her muscles and didn't discover any major muscle weakness so the doctor feels like it could just be a bad habit. So it's baby boot camp for Olivia! If the therapy doesn't work we will probably have to do some neurological testing, but the doctor said that she isn't very concerned about that because of how well Olivia preformed on the cognitive tests.
Now that Olivia is officially diagnosed as "delayed" we can access the state's early intervention program. It's run through the school system and helps kids that have disabilities or are delayed and it's free. Olivia's doctor cautioned us that sometimes different districts might pressure parents to take care of some of the fees themselves or through their insurance and to make sure we fight for the services our taxes are already paying for. That part is a little intimidating for me, but if my Mama Bear needs to come out, so be it. I pity the fool that tries to take me on when it comes to my baby!
We are in ESU #7 and actually talking to our coordinator has gone really well so far. She seems kind anyway. She made an appointment to come and visit us on Monday. I LOVE that they do home visits. She is based out of Columbus and while it isn't terribly far, it's nice not to have to travel with Olivia by myself. At that point we'll do paperwork and I think she will evaluate Olivia for services. My guess would be that we will just end up doing physical therapy but I'm not sure.
So how is competitive me doing with having a "delayed" child while other kids her age and adjusted age are sitting, standing, and even taking their first steps? Honestly, just fine. It's actually a relief to feel like we can finally do something concrete to help Olivia. It's going to be a lot of work to retrain this stubborn child of mine. I already predict tears on her side and probably some on mine. I know the counseling and medication are helping me because I don't feel overwhelmed by this. Instead I feel ready to do something and take on the challenge - pretty amazing considering that just a few short months ago I would have a complete mental breakdown, crying and berating myself, because I forgot to thaw the hamburger for supper.
As far as the sitting up, standing, and walking goes we'll get there eventually and as long as Olivia is happy and otherwise healthy, I'm okay with that.


Popular Posts