It’s amazing the things you learn when you have a child diagnosed with a medical condition. I had no idea what the term “early intervention” meant before my Molly was born….and wow did I learn quickly that it’s an imperative part of her development. Early intervention is programming consisting of therapy sessions, activities and exercises to help address the delays found in those with special needs.
Each state has their own set of regulations and offerings for early intervention services. While every child is different in their needs for services, here’s a little about the early intervention programs we participate in with Molly.
When Molly was six months old, we went for an overall evaluation at Hope Haven’s Children Clinic and Family Center. The therapists there worked with her and evaluated her overall skills. From there it was decided that we would start out with regular physical therapy sessions and gradually work in speech therapy once she begin eating baby food. In the last month, we’ve also added occupational therapy into our regular sessions. Wednesday mornings are our therapy days and I look forward to them each week (and I think Molly does too!) Maggie is a part of the sessions – she loves it just as much as her little sister!
Every other Wednesday, Molly has a 30-minute physical therapy session. In the beginning, Molly and her therapist Kris worked on balance, body control and the early stages of crawling. Now, Molly and Kris work on learning to walk – you’d be amazed at how technical it is just to walk! I have mixed emotions, but once she masters crawling, we will “graduate” and no longer need physical therapy. We’ll miss playing with Kris on Wednesdays!
Every Wednesday morning after PT , we make our way down the hall to Speech Therapy with Mrs. Melanie. When we began working with Mel, it was all about learning to be fed with a spoon and oral motor skills. Now, we are working on sounds and there’s a lot of baby chattering on during our session. Molly loves playing with bubbles and they use them in speech therapy to practice the “ba”, “ma” and “pa” sound… “bubbles” and “pop”. Today we worked on introducing new food textures – today’s snack? A banana!
We recently added OT in to our weekly Wednesday morning routine. We are big fans of Molly’s therapist named Holly. She’s already taught us so much just in our two visits. The main activity right now is working on hand to mouth feeding. Molly has no trouble picking things up, but still needs help learning the skills for self feeding. Once she gets older, OT will help her in learning how to tie shoes, dress herself, open/close items, etc. She’s enjoying her time with Holly, I’m excited we’ve got her on our side!
Okay…so enough about us! What questions do you have about Molly’s early intervention programs? While I’m definitely not an expert in this area, I enjoy the conversation that typically develops in the comments section!
Want to read past “Things to Know About Down Syndrome” series? Check out my past articles More Things to Know About Down Syndrome and Things to Know About Down Syndrome and Things To Know About Down Syndrome – Physical Traits.