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IFSP meeting

Posted Feb 12 2010 12:00am

This morning we had Finn's semi-annual IFSP meeting with our service coordinator. Finn was sporting a nice shiner for the occasion (damn table leg!):

Because, you know, it's important to make a good impression on those social workers.

Anyhoo, it was actually a fairly stress-free meeting, as we did not have to deal with the typical evaluation beforehand since we dumped our PT recently. Instead, our SC just used a written screening tool, where she went down a list - several pages long - and asked us, "Can he do this?" "Does he do that?" and "Is he able to so-and-so?" They were all basically yes and no questions.

What was proposed to us as far as services go - and this is the stressful part for me - was either:

A. A "global" therapy program at a clinic, where he would receive PT, ST, and OT by rotating stations in the same center. This would be a twice weekly program, each day's program consisting of about 3 hours (so a total of about 6 hours per week).

or

B. In-home therapy by three different therapists, each for one hour per week.

Option A is out. The clinic they would want us to go to is about a 30 minute drive from our house, and I just cannot do that for a variety of reasons, among them, having other kids with staggered school pick-ups every day. It's too far, the times would not work, and I have Lilah to think about - I do NOT want to be dragging her around to deal with Finn's therapy. It wouldn't be fair to her. Also, six hours a week seems like an awful lot to me - too much. I just can't do it.

So we've agreed to option B, at least for the time being. Regional Center has agreed to assign Emily as our OT, and we will be given a new PT and an "Infant Stim teacher" who will work on cognition and language development.

Do you see what I've done, though? I've backpedaled on my previous decision to reduce services. We will now be doing weekly therapy not only with just a PT, but with two additional therapists as well.

I have to say straight out that I am still so, so torn on the whole therapy thing. I really am. I just don't know what the right and the wrong are. I do not at all regret that we've spent the last six months only having PT once a month (and none at all since early December) - although I have second-guessed myself plenty. But it's been really, really nice to not have to work our schedule around therapy, to not have that intrusion, and to just let Finn BE. And he's been fine. He's been happy and healthy and inquisitive and explorative. Has he met the goals we set for him at his last IFSP? No. I don't really recall all the goals we set for him (although I don't think there were many), but I do know that one of them was to have him taking at least a few steps by now. He's not. He's still not even pulling up to stand (well, he often will in my lap, but not on furniture or anything). And truly, truly, I am fine with that. I am not in a big hurry for him to walk. I really just don't see the huge benefits of him walking ASAP. He will walk eventually, of that I have no doubt, and that's good enough for me. (This, coming from a pretty high-strung mom!)

That said, there is a part of me, of course, that wonders if we're doing all we can for him. Are we holding him back? Would he progress by leaps and bounds if he had a lot more therapy?

I don't know, I just don't know.

So we've agreed to what will now be three hours of therapy every week, assuming all three therapists can work with my schedule, which is pretty limited (I absolutely cannot do afternoons with all the activities my other kids are involved in). And already, I'm feeling a little resentful about the intrusion it will be, and I'm feeling a lot of guilt for Lilah, because I don't want this to take away from my opportunities to take her to the park and on playdates. She will be starting preschool in the fall, and I don't want to steal these last few months from her.

Gah. This mom stuff is so hard sometimes.
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