Sunday, May 24, 2009

Early Intervention

One of the great things that is provided by the state of New Jersey is the Early Intervention program for children with disabilities. After the initial shock had worn off, and with the help of a friend who provided me with the initial research, I called the program and spoke with a very kind woman who started us on the process. I spent awhile talking to her giving her the information she needed on Colin. She was shocked at how young he was (maybe only 2 weeks old at that point) but informed us that the earlier we started the process the better. They will provide an initial evaluation which determines services he may need at that time, and then subsequent evaluations throughout his growth and development for the first 3 years of his life.

Two days before Colin turned one month, a physical therapist and social worker came to the house and spent about 2.5 hours here gathering information and evaluating Colin. He made us so proud that day by showing them everything he can do already...lifting his head, moving his legs in a crawling motion, grasping objects, tracking objects with his eyes, good sucking when eating, etc. They were very impressed because I found out that babies with Down Syndrome typically have low muscle tone. Colin sure is proving that wrong for himself!

After that evaluation, we were given suggestions to work on with him now which mostly include an emphasis on "tummy time" to further strengthen his neck and other muscles. A week after that, they come back to discuss financial information because there are some fees that we will be required to pay, and then another week later they come back to draw up Colin's Individualized Family Service Plan.

After the initial evaulation, Colin gave me another surge of confidence in him and this process for my husband and I. Colin is already proving to us that he is a fighter and we will continue to encourage and provide the things he needs to accomplish tasks and goals in life.

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