Tuesday, June 5, 2012

One year evaluation

Isabelle's first ride on a carousel... not a fan!
Isabelle has been in Early Steps for a full year now.  Hard to believe!  I am so thankful for this program as we can see great improvement in Isabelle's development that I don't know we would have seen at this point if this program was not around.  I never thought we would be in the situation to depend on a government assisted program but we are so grateful it is available to Isabelle.  Thankfully, Isabelle is eligible for this program until she is 3 years old.  
Isabelle was first evaluated with Early Steps at around 4 weeks old.  Our first evaluation was gut wrenching.  Our case worker, nurse and physical therapist all arrived at our home and evaluated Isabelle and then discussed her delays and her new goals.  Everything was still so new at that point and it was difficult to hear what her delays were already at only 4 weeks old.  I remember once everyone left, I just held her and cried.
She is now evaluated every 6 months to see what goals she has met, things we need to work on and also to set new goals.  I don't think these evaluations will ever become easy.  I know Isabelle has delays but I try not to dwell on them.  These meetings put them right in my face and it is very difficult to see everything written on paper. 
We are very blessed with the therapists that Isabelle has.  They are great with her and make sure we know exactly what they are doing so we can work on our "homework". 

Just because she is so cute!
On Sunday night, I had knots in my stomach anticipating our upcoming meeting.  Isabelle has been doing amazing and I wasn't ready to hear otherwise. 
Our group arrived and we quickly got down to business.  We were asked lots of questions and we discussed the goals Isabelle has met and the new goals we would like to see her achieve in the next 6 months.  Then it was Isabelle's PT's turn to speak.  She explained that she doesn't evaluate on a DS chart but instead uses a typical child's milestone chart.  I like this because if I have to hear about her delays... I want to know where she stands in comparison with every other child out there not just those that have DS.  (these meetings are the only times that I want to know and compare her milestones to the milestones of other children- DS or not.)   I was so encouraged by what we heard.  Isabelle is right on track with everything except mobility- which we already knew.  Her PT said that most children excel in a certain area (speech/ phycial) and the other areas might lack but then they switch it up. 
Right now, Isabelle is excelling in speech while physical is a little slower.  Isabelle started babbling and saying MaMa and other sounds many months ago.   I think God knew I needed that.  I know that she will crawl and walk... it might come slower for her and she might have to work 100 times harder but she will get it.  But I needed my baby to say my name and communicate with me.  Every time I hear MaMa, it melts my heart. 
Isabelle's new goals are set and we are going to work really hard to help her achieve them.  It is also time to possibly add Occupational therapy into the mix along with her other therapies.  Three therapies in a week,  Yikes!!  One year down and 2 more to go! I am so excited to see where Isabelle will be after her 3 years in this program.

Also, we have placed an order for Isabelle's hip helpers... it is that time!  These bright pink baby spanx hip helpers should arrive in the mail in about a week so we will see what she thinks of them.  From what I hear, she won't be a fan but hopefully she will get used to them.

1 comment:

Adrienne said...

Sounds like she's doing great! Bennett started crawling (army crawling at first around 14 months), can't remember when he got up on all 4's and then didn't really walk until about 29 months or so. I know that sounds sooo far away and Isabelle may be totally different but now B is talking, walking, has a ton of signs says "up please", "down please", "love you" and so much more! She will get there and every goal she reaches will be HUGE! As frustrating as the waiting is I can't tell you how fun it has been to watch him learn! It's like: "My boy can learn, heck yeah he can learn!" Of course he can and she will too and you'll celebrate it every step of the way!