Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Gift of Gab

Ella's new trick is to use the box of wipes to
climb her way up on to the couch.

It is hard to believe that Ella has already been in the New York State Early Intervention program for two years! We had our IFSP (individualized family service plan) meeting this week. We meet with our team of therapists and our service coordinator every six months. It's a good time for everyone to catch up on Ella and make sure we have a plan. Each therapist provides a written report and we talk about any adjustments to her schedule that we would like to see. I remember being so nervous for our first meeting. I am a lot more comfortable now. There are no surprises for us at these meetings. Jason and I are pretty involved in Ella's EI program. One of us is always home when our therapists are here. We try and ask lots of questions and follow through with what they work on with Ella.

This meeting was especially exciting because of the tremendous progress Ella has made in the last six months. Some of our goals in February were to have Ella moving independently (crawling or walking), feeding herself, pulling up on furniture, exploring her environment. This was the first time we were able to check multiple items off that list as accomplishments. She is still a little behind her peers in motor skills, but she is literally doing something new and getting stronger every day. We are relieved and excited....and now even more focused on her talking. Speech is the area where Ella is still struggling. This is where the biggest delay remains. Ella did not get my genes when it comes to gift of gab! She has recently started using more words and communicating better, but we have a lot of work still to get her caught up. The ear tubes have helped a lot and we are seeing really promising qualitative changes. Hopefully it's just a matter of time before we start to hear more words.
Baby Ella "practicing" her PT in August 2009.

Ella has come such a long way since that first visit for her evaluation in August of 2009. She was so tiny and Jason and I were so clueless. We have always an open mind though and I truly feel that has helped us navigate the world of EI and get the best possible services for Ella. We started off with PT every other week and speech therapy every other week....wow has that schedule changed! Ella currently has One hour of land PT, two half hour pool therapy sessions a week, and three speech therapy visits. We are also adding toddler group (a two year old preschool program) in September. It keeps us busy, but the services work and have helped Ella reach her best potential. With any luck I will have a blog post titled "Chatty Cathy" in the near future. :-)

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