Monday, February 15, 2010

Early Interventions: The Ball is Rolling

I'm keeping this short and sweet, as I've brought myself to be very matter-of-fact about this whole situation we're finding ourselves in. I think it's kind of an emotional defense system. You have to be matter-of-fact in order to do what needs to be done. Otherwise, you could spend hours dwelling on it and start to become negative and bitter over it... or defensive about it. None of these attitudes would be helpful to us or to Jonah, so at this point we are just doing what we can about what we know.

Early Interventions called last week with the official results of his panel evaluation. It was basically what I was told immediately following the eval, but with a more official tone. Jonah has severe delays in gross motor, and expressive language. He is also delayed in his self help skills and social interactions, but not as severely.

He will be going to the group occupational therapy once a week, and we will be finding a personal speech therapist. The center does not offer individual speech therapy, so we will be going through his pediatrician to get a referral for the speech therapy. He will also be referred to an ENT to see if there is any medical reason that grunting and growling are his prominent vocalizations.

I'm not sure that the ENT will be able to help us. Exactly a year ago, Jonah was hospitalized as a case of failure to thrive. The staff immediately noticed his grunting and growling, and ran a series of tests on his throat, vocal chords, digestive system, and soft palette. They found no medical reason for him making these sounds, other than his reflux. They thought he was making them as an attempt to keep his food down, or to cope with the pain in his esophagus. Maybe the ENT can shed some light on this for us. My hopes are yes, he/she can; but my realistic thinking is probably not.

We are going to write his IEP and list of goals this Thursday. While I would love to make goals such as "walking independently and efficiently" and "calling me Mommy again." I know that the goals are going to have to be much smaller- "standing with balance for three seconds" and "consistently making the mmmm, bababa, and gagaga sounds" will probably be more like it.

After the goals and IEP are written, Jonah will be enrolled ASAP into their occupational therapy program. I was surprised by how quickly they will be able to get Jonah into the program. He will be starting it this coming Monday. I am greatful that they are able to get Jonah help so quickly, but also a little concerned that the reason he got in so fast is because the nurse felt that he was an "urgent case."

We will be revisiting the PDD-NOS possibility at the meeting this Thursday, but the nurse said that for now it would be best to treat the individual delays, keep testing him for PDD and keep a big eye on it, but not to actually call it that yet. PDD can accurately be predicted at this young age, but can't accurately be diagnosed until later in toddlerhood.

Other than this, we are just taking things one step at a time. And adding more and more specialists to our ever-growing list.

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