Friday, February 12, 2010

IFSP meeting

This morning we had Finn's semi-annual IFSP meeting with our service coordinator. Finn was sporting a nice shiner for the occasion (damn table leg!):

Because, you know, it's important to make a good impression on those social workers.

Anyhoo, it was actually a fairly stress-free meeting, as we did not have to deal with the typical evaluation beforehand since we dumped our PT recently. Instead, our SC just used a written screening tool, where she went down a list - several pages long - and asked us, "Can he do this?" "Does he do that?" and "Is he able to so-and-so?" They were all basically yes and no questions.

What was proposed to us as far as services go - and this is the stressful part for me - was either:

A. A "global" therapy program at a clinic, where he would receive PT, ST, and OT by rotating stations in the same center. This would be a twice weekly program, each day's program consisting of about 3 hours (so a total of about 6 hours per week).


B. In-home therapy by three different therapists, each for one hour per week.

Option A is out. The clinic they would want us to go to is about a 30 minute drive from our house, and I just cannot do that for a variety of reasons, among them, having other kids with staggered school pick-ups every day. It's too far, the times would not work, and I have Lilah to think about - I do NOT want to be dragging her around to deal with Finn's therapy. It wouldn't be fair to her. Also, six hours a week seems like an awful lot to me - too much. I just can't do it.

So we've agreed to option B, at least for the time being. Regional Center has agreed to assign Emily as our OT, and we will be given a new PT and an "Infant Stim teacher" who will work on cognition and language development.

Do you see what I've done, though? I've backpedaled on my previous decision to reduce services. We will now be doing weekly therapy not only with just a PT, but with two additional therapists as well.

I have to say straight out that I am still so, so torn on the whole therapy thing. I really am. I just don't know what the right and the wrong are. I do not at all regret that we've spent the last six months only having PT once a month (and none at all since early December) - although I have second-guessed myself plenty. But it's been really, really nice to not have to work our schedule around therapy, to not have that intrusion, and to just let Finn BE. And he's been fine. He's been happy and healthy and inquisitive and explorative. Has he met the goals we set for him at his last IFSP? No. I don't really recall all the goals we set for him (although I don't think there were many), but I do know that one of them was to have him taking at least a few steps by now. He's not. He's still not even pulling up to stand (well, he often will in my lap, but not on furniture or anything). And truly, truly, I am fine with that. I am not in a big hurry for him to walk. I really just don't see the huge benefits of him walking ASAP. He will walk eventually, of that I have no doubt, and that's good enough for me. (This, coming from a pretty high-strung mom!)

That said, there is a part of me, of course, that wonders if we're doing all we can for him. Are we holding him back? Would he progress by leaps and bounds if he had a lot more therapy?

I don't know, I just don't know.

So we've agreed to what will now be three hours of therapy every week, assuming all three therapists can work with my schedule, which is pretty limited (I absolutely cannot do afternoons with all the activities my other kids are involved in). And already, I'm feeling a little resentful about the intrusion it will be, and I'm feeling a lot of guilt for Lilah, because I don't want this to take away from my opportunities to take her to the park and on playdates. She will be starting preschool in the fall, and I don't want to steal these last few months from her.

Gah. This mom stuff is so hard sometimes.


Tricia said...

You're doing great, Lisa. Try it, see if it works. Don't beat yourself up. And Lilah can's kind of like "fun times' for the kids. Unless, your kids are like G and end up hating it. That's when we decided to quit...but she liked it for a LONG time first.

Brandie said...

I know how overwhelming 3 hrs a week can be. Some things that we tried were "co-treating" when more than one therapist comes at a time. We needed a special waiver to do this. And having the PT meet us at the park. It was great because it gave me an extra set of adult hands!

heidi marie said...


i know how difficult it is to make decision for finn. but i can say that it won't hurt to try different paths. so far you guys have been doing a small amount of therapy and if that is working than i would stick with it.

but there isn't anything wrong with trying out more therapy for awhile and seeing what happens. but you have to give it a try for more than a couple weeks. it takes awhile for kiddos to even warm up to therapists and new routines. finn might protest in the beginning but it's simply because he's unfamiliar with what's expected and what's going on. i think you are a great mom and don't beat yourself up so much. it's all trial and error. every child is different and it doesn't hurt to mix things up here and there.

Anonymous said...

We are about to embark on multi- therapy sessions with our son Cullen who is 3. He was diagnosed with Autism this past October. He will have ST 2x/week,OT 1x/week,a Special Education Teacher 2x/week and still has to have his PT eval done. It is overwhelming to think about it. Especially having 4 other kids at home to think about it,but,I have to try. I resisted therapy for over a year now(and even having him evaluated)to see how he would do. He has made progress on his own but I know from my past experiences with ST and OT with my older boys that this will most likely be beneficial for him. I figure if it's too much or isn't helping after giving it a fair chance than I can reduce services. Maybe just having different therapists will be what makes the difference for you guys. I figure I don't know unless I try it.
But I do know that it is very daunting to think about it. (((HUGS))) from another mama with a large family

Jen said...

What Tricia said. You can always, always change things if you don't like the way it's going. It's so hard to know what the right thing is, isn't it? And easy to doubt yourself.

And Lilah will enjoy it. Eli always did. And good therapists will include her if she's interested.

ds.mama said...

Look at it this way, Finn will still have 165 hours per week to just BE :-) Those other 3 hours can be a time for both of you to learn new things.

MaggieMae said...

Lisa - Try it and see if it works for you and for Finn. And Tricia is right, let Lilah participate. My then 3-year-old was all of the therapists' assistants. As such, she's still very good and loves to implement services with the boys. I don't think the "am I doing enough/the right stuff" feeling ever goes away. We lived our lives by the therapy schedule and the boys achieved much... but who is to say they would not have achieved it w/o the therapies? I also think the specific therapist makes a huge difference. I'm considering dropping all but our speech and SEIT/ABA theraies for the summer. The PT and OT they have at school are useless!

We're now up against the site-word reading stuff. Buy a program? Create my own home program? Leave it for the school to do? Me? Can't leave it to the school and can't NOT do it. But that's just me! I'll buy the program and make my best attempt at implementing.

There's a million great ways to raise a child.

Alycia said...

I miss the kids! Lots!