Monday, 19 December 2011

Let the Intervention Begin

Today we had Nic's early intervention meeting. His coordinator, the two evaluating therapists, and I all met to discuss the "level of support" that our family will be receiving in the coming months. We also had to set a goal for Nicolas, and it had to be in my words. Now, I understand that goals are a positive thing, but really my only goal for all of this is for Nic to not be delayed, and since I was responsible for wording the goal, that was the phrase I chose. "My goal is for my son to not be delayed." Yes, this mom aims high. But what was I supposed to say? At the end of six months I hope my son can recite the entire US Constitution? (Although that would be the height of history-cool for a <2 year old).

The rest of the meeting was the therapists summarizing what they told me before. The developmental therapist reiterated that at first she thought Nic would need services (remember the tongue chewing?), but by the end of her appointment she was convinced that she could not justify recommending them. Instead, she proposed reevaluating in three months to make sure he continues on-track. I agreed. The speech therapist let the other two know that she was only concerned about his expressive speech, and that she was only recommending up to one hour a week of therapy.

On an adoption-frustration side note, one of the things she brought up was our complete lack of knowledge regarding Nic's gestation and birth. Nic was a tiny tiny fellow when we first got his measurements, and we don't know if that was due entirely to maternal malnutrition or if it was linked to prematurity. If Nicolas was born even a month premature, and if we knew about it, then he would not be considered delayed because they adjust for prematurity on the scale. If only we knew.

After the speech therapist made her recommendations I got to pick how much support we would be accepting. I got to choose between twice a month or four times a month. Now, I would have preferred to go with only twice a month, because I suspect that will probably be enough for us, but when I asked what would happen if we went with twice a month and then wanted to upgrade if that wasn't working, I found out that it would be very difficult to do that. Even though the therapist was approving us for up to four times a month, we would have to redo all the evaluations and meetings to switch from two to four times a month. However, if we start with four times a month and feel it is overkill it only takes a phone call to switch to twice a month. I want to keep things flexible, so I chose to start with four times a month. Apparently the goal of the therapist is to teach me skills to work with Nicolas during the week, and so the frequency of meetings and the efficacy of the therapy all depend on how quickly I learn and how well I implement the strategies...and here I thought I was getting off easy when Nic qualified!

I am very thankful that all of these meetings are done, and that we will be able to get started after the holidays. It's odd though, I swear to you in the four days since the speech therapist came that Nicolas has already increased his skills (or perhaps I am noticing skills he already had?). Having her tell me what Nic needs to be doing has gotten me to think about trying to get him to perform tasks or imitate words that I didn't try before. Jeff has also pointed out to me that some of my answers to the therapist's questions were wrong. Not intentionally (of course), but because I can't remember all the little things that Nicolas does (especially if I don't know what I am supposed to be looking for in advance). Oh well, at least this scatter-brained mom will be receiving some "support" on behalf of her deprived second son.

In new baby news, tomorrow is the BIG ultrasound. We are really hoping to get the "all-clear" and be re-categorized as low-risk. Up until this point I have been having three to four appointments a month, and I would really prefer to only have the one with a regular OB. We think the world of our high-risk doctor, so it has nothing to do with not wanting to see him, it's just that we are done with going in so often. Thus far I have not been nervous about the scan. I know I will be tomorrow, but thankfully our hectic schedule has prevented me from dwelling on it. I have noticed that I am absolutely missing Leah and thinking about her more these days, and I don't know if it is the Christmas season or the timing of my pregnancy, or a combination of the two, but it's there. We appreciate all of your prayers, and promise to post a (hopefully excellent) update as soon as possible tomorrow.

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