Finn has in-home speech therapy every Wednesday morning at 9:00. Every week his SLP is late - anywhere from 10 to 25 minutes late. Today? Well, today she just didn't show up at all. I waited. And waited. And waited. And posted my frustration on Facebook. And waited some more. All the while growing more and more peeved. It's not as if I don't have other things to do. And I plan things around Finn's therapy. So when she's late, it throws all my planning off, which is frustrating to say the least.
So, in the end, she never showed up this morning. I tried calling her at about 20 to 10, but only got her voice mail, and didn't leave a message. By the time it was a quarter to 10 and she was 45 minutes late, I started thinking, "Well, what if she shows up now? I just won't answer the door!" But she never showed. At a few minutes past 10, I called her number again, leaving a message telling her that I wasn't sure what happened and asking her to call me.
She finally called me back at a little after 6:00 this evening. Know what she said? She said that she had put us down for Thursday mornings from now on. Problem is, she never discussed this with me! So if I had never called her and left a message, would she have just shown up tomorrow morning? I have no idea. Apparently she can't fit us in on Wednesday mornings anymore - something to do with the school year starting . . . I don't know. What does this mean? Have we been displaced by another of her clients? Are we not as important, so we just get booted from the Wednesday morning time slot with no discussion? I have no idea.
And I can't do Thursday mornings. Or rather, I won't. Lilah, my three-going-on-four-year-old, just started attending preschool three mornings a week, which means that Tuesdays and Thursdays are the only days now that I have her home with me. We already do OT on Tuesdays, which means those are mornings that we can't go to the park or do other fun things. In another year, she'll be in kindergarten five days a week, and I'll be damned if I'm going to use up all the days I have left with her doing therapy with Finn - therapy that I'm not even convinced is having any impact on him.
So I called Rebecca back and told her that Thursdays will not work for us, that I need either a Monday morning slot or a Friday morning slot. We'll see where that goes.
The thing is, she's supposed to be THE BEST. She is highly regarded as a SLP. And she does have a great rapport with Finn (which is not to say that I believe he's actually getting a whole lot - or anything - out of ST). I like her as a person. She's good with my kid. And she comes to my house (when she shows up), and I guess she's one of the only SLPs who does in-home therapy in our area. I'm not inclined to dump her and start over with someone else at this point - especially since Regional Center is only covering ST for us through October and then we have to go through our health insurance which will likely make us go across town for ST, which I will not do, so effectively I expect we'll be done with ST come November, until Finn turns 3 anyway and is transitioned to the school district.
Blah. I'm just so fed up with the whole thing - Early Intervention as a whole. If you believe that your kid is making some huge gains as a direct result of EI, then more power to you. But looking back on two years of this crap now, I don't feel that it's been an overall positive experience for us. The benefits - whatever they are - certainly have not outweighed the negatives.
I remember being in the NICU with Finn when somebody first came and talked to me about Early Intervention. I was told that he needed to start therapy as soon as possible, and I remember being bewildered and saying, "As a newborn? He needs therapy as a newborn?" The woman - I guess a social worker from Regional Center - said in this no-nonsense tone, "Don't you want him to be the best he can be? Then yes, he needs to start 'baby school' as soon as possible." That's what they do. They sell it to you like that, playing on your fears and your guilt, and you're led to believe that if you're a good parent, if you want what's best for your child, this is what you'll do: you'll put him in this program from birth that will attempt to normalize him. And even when it becomes a huge imposition on your time, even when your other kids are impacted, you keep going because that's what you're supposed to do, and quitting altogether is too scary because you don't want to look back and feel like you didn't do everything you could do.
Looking back, I wish I would have asked that woman: what exactly is the goal of Early Intervention? What exactly are the benefits I can expect to see? Does therapy guarantee anything for my kid?
Kevin, my thirteen-year-old asked me today, "Mom, why does Finn have therapy? You hate it. And isn't he going to learn how to do all those things anyway, just slower? What's wrong with that?" Astute kid.
Adieu - After more than two years and 555 posts (556 counting this one!), I'm saying goodbye to Adventures in Motherhood. I'm ready for a change, and I've started ...
6 years ago