Thursday, November 13, 2008

Progress Report

Today we had our 6 month Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) review with Early Start. Early Start is the government program that provides early intervention treatment for babies with disabilities. It is a free service to us and the thousands of other families with special needs children and is paid for in part by your taxes. That's right; your taxes are actually being used for something good.

The review is to summarize Marley's current development as well as outline goals for her to achieve in the next 6 months. All of Marley's developmental skills fall within the 4-7 month range (which I expected). Her biggest lags are in fine motor (which could be due to her small hands) and cognition. 

There are lots of goals/objectives for Marley to work on thru the next 6 months (too may for me to describe in this blog). Our therapists emphasized that many of these skills are beginning to emerge in Marley, but stressed the fact that it will take diligent work on our part to help her advance. 

I feel really hopeful. It saddens me that Marley can't be like any other baby and just "learn" on her own but I think that Jason and I are up to the challenge. We've weathered so many bumps so far, I knew long ago that nothing was going to be easy about raising a baby with disabilities.

I also met with my support group today located in the classroom of the Early Start program. All the other parents (mostly moms) have children with auditory/visual disabilities (and then some). It's a great group and appeared in my life just when I was giving up hope of finding anyone else I could relate to.  It's the only place I don't feel awkward, pitied or stared at for having a child that looks "different".

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