Saturday, May 23, 2009

Early Intervention

Last Wednesday was a sad day at our house. You see, because I was born premature and with a medical diagnosis of RDS (Respiratory Distress Syndrome), I had the benefit of receiving early intervention services provided by our county. Mommy chose to enroll in the program just weeks after my birth because she thought it would help me "catch up" sooner than later. And boy, did it!

Miss Beth would come to our house once a month for an hour or so and introduce me to new things. Things that challenged my skills in all areas - gross and fine motor, cognitive, social, emotional, and self help, speech and language, etc. I LOVED seeing Miss Beth each month and I LOVED her basket of toys. On every visit, she would bring new toys and I couldn't wait to get into her basket to see what goodies she had in store for me. Over time, Mommy borrowed different literature and other things that would help my development and Miss Beth would make me things, such as sound sticks, playdough, and just on this past visit, finger paints. Most importantly, Miss Beth would give Mommy encouragement that she was a wonderful Mommy and that I was developing exceptionally well. She would also give Mommy things to read through and provided priceless guidance.

Each month I would impress Miss Beth with my abilities. By 1 year old, I was showing skills at levels above my actual age. At that point, it was a given that I was "caught up". At our meeting last month (16 1/2 months), Miss Beth reminded Mommy just how GREAT I was doing. Every single thing I was doing was at or above that of an average 16 1/2 month old. I was no longer just "caught up", but I was "advanced". Of course Mommy was ecstatic that I had reached this point, but this is where it gets sad.

Miss Beth admitted that there was nothing more she could do that Mommy and Daddy couldn't do themselves. So, she suggested that we discontinue services with Early Intervention. She explained that for every child like me, who unnecessarily receives services, there is a child out there who really needs it, but doesn't receive these wonderful services. Of course Mommy understood and agreed, but it took everything in her not to burst into tears. Miss Beth has been a part of our lives for practically my whole life and now we were going to have to say goodbye. Miss Beth said that she would like to make 1 or 2 more visits and Mommy said that 1 would be fine. (It's time for other kiddos to get Miss Beth's time!) Soon enough, that last visit came. Mommy couldn't get out of her head that this would be Beth's last visit. I, of course, wasn't focused on that, but rather the paints that Miss Beth brought for me. I had so much fun painting my butterflies!

Oh, Miss Beth, we will miss you terribly! Mommy is having a hard time keeping the tears at bay just writing this. We know, it's pitiful, but we really loved you. The only thing that makes this farewell easier is knowing that there are A TON of children out there who are going to grow up strong and smart because you were their Early Intervention Specialist. Thank you soooooooo much for all of your help. You are so great!

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