Friday, March 27, 2009

PT . . . sigh.

We got a letter in the mail today from Regional Center asking all families who receive services to evaluate their actual need for services and consider reducing the amount of services they receive. This is all due to the huge economic crisis the State of California is in the midst of. I posted a while back about the possibility of Regional Center closing its doors and thereby eliminating services altogether if California didn't sign a budget into effect by such and such date. Well, the budget was signed, but it includes enormous cuts (150ish teachers in our school district alone have received pink slips) as well as tax hikes (our sales tax is going up as of April 1; also, there is so little money with the State, apparently, that people who have a state income tax refund due to them are having to wait indefinitely for their money - we're included in that group).

I don't know what to do. I just posted a few days ago saying that sometimes I wonder how much Finn is actually getting from the PT he receives. We're talking an hour a week. And the truth is, we've missed several sessions over the last couple of months due to illness. And here Finn is, getting up on his hands and knees, wanting to crawl at 8.5 months of age. And it's not like I constantly work with him. I don't. In fact, I'm ashamed to say that I rarely do. I play with him, yes. But I rarely do PT exercises. And yet, here he is; just when I think he's not really progressing, he makes a giant leap. Is that because of the PT he receives, or is it just the way he would be progressing in spite of everything anyway?

On the other hand, I certainly don't want to underestimate the value of the therapy he receives. His PT has told me many times that the kids she gets as infants and works with regularly usually walk by 18 months; on the flip side, she says that the kids she gets later tend to walk later. I don't know what to think. All I know is that suddenly I'm actually in the position of having to make a determination about how much Finn is benefitting from his PT. And I just don't have any answers.

What would you do?

11 comments:

My name is Sarah said...

Lisa, This is Joyce. I do not feel qualified to give a specific response to the PT, but I will offer the advice that I would not recommend signing off on any services. Too many times I have seen parents do this over the years (with government programs and school based services) thinking they are being "nice" or "helpful" and then realize they need the services at a later time. Once they are gone, they are frequently VERY HARD to get back. And what you say now will be used against you in the future. I would fight to keep any service whether it's PT, OT, or Speech or life skill trainers.

sheree said...

sigh. That's a tough one. We get PT every other week. I haven't received that letter yet, but I am sure it's coming.

Could you scale it down to every other week or even once a month?

I think, if it were me, since Finn seems to be doing well, I would cut back. Then, if you notice he is starting to fall behind in something, ask for specific exercises you could work on with him and if it was still an issue later on down the line, maybe you could get PT more often?

It's really a hard question to answer. I know you never want to deny your child the resources available, but at the same time, if it's not benefitting him anymore to receive PT once a week than it would to receive it every other week, then I'd say cutting it down would be a good thing.

Good luck with whatever you choose.

Erika said...

One hour a week is really not that much. I guess I might take into account other services he's receiving from the regional center. Obviously I don't know your situation and can't predict the future, but I would not recommend reducing services. 0-3 is the prime age of children's brain development so now is the time to make real progress and build a foundation for future development. I wouldn't panic if they decide to reduce services but I wouldn't volunteer.

JaybirdNWA said...

This seems to me like an odd way for the State to handle it - letting parents make the judgement. I agree with Joyce that if you are already on the rolls of getting services, I would be hesitant to take my name off that list. Also, if the State is serious about getting people off the list, it seems that they would send out a PT to re-eval for services.

Tausha said...

Hmmm. My thoughts are the same as My name is Sarah merely for the fact that you don't want it to work against you down the road. I think physically you could be just fine and he may end up walking later but he will still walk,etc but I think if they are still willing to give you the services I would take advantage of them for now. Even if you don't do PT with him everyday doesn't mean you don't deserve them. I mean they give you good insight as to what to look for, etc. I to think it's an odd way for the state to handle it.

Megan said...

I would never, never give up services. Stella was up on all fours at 7 mos (I think). She didn't crawl, despite her best efforts) until just shy of 11 mos. That's not to say Finn (and Stella) aren't doing great, but I think that they do benefit from services ~ even if it's just having someone put their body in the right position once a week (that's all Stella really needed).

Hector and Jennifer Varanini Sanchez said...

Don't give it up! Just my two cents!!!

Lovin Mama said...

I don't think PT once a month is a lot. I think the letter may be directed at families w/ children who receive more services. Goldie averages 3 per week now.
Also, since he is wanting to crawl, now is the time for PT. Goldie makes the most progress when she is interested. Right now she is interested in speech, so we are increasing that and cutting back on PT.

starrlife said...

I'm in the I agree with Sarah camp! Never voluntarily give up services because of funding. If you and your PT review your plan and decide to decrease than so be it.It's really hard for me to say since we didn't get PT broken out, we got someone who did it all (OT/PT), a developmental specialist weekly and I wouldn't have given her up for the world since it really helped ME to talk to someone who encouraged us, knew alot more than I did and provided us with ideas and skills to use.

Cheri said...

I agree with Joyce, I would not let it go. Are you receiving anything 2 times a week? If you are maybe consider reducing that one service to once a week.

I think I emailed this once but can't remember the answer...have you looked into the EIP Early Intervention Program in Laguna? I know it would be a bit of a drive but it is so forth it... it is on Wednesdays, the children rotate through OT, PT, Speech/feeding, Infant Stimulation, and music and movement stations. The last hour the moms go upstairs to share with one another (all these sweet grandma's from the area take the kiddos and rock them to sleep while you are upstairs)...you would be such an awesome addition to the group. It is such a wonderful program and it is free!! It is only for 0-12 months... but then there is a 1-3 equivalent program! There is a picture of Reid on my side bar on his graduation day (with cap and gown). I did not start until Reid was about Finnian's age..though in hindsight I wish I had started earlier, it is that good.

BTW...Finnian is getting so big and is so darn cute...I loved the video of him trying to creep on his tummy! So fun!

Alisa said...

Check out this link about the purpose of PT with kids that have DS. It is a different perspective, and may help you to make your decision.

http://www.ds-health.com/physther.htm