The Early Intervention team came to assess Charlotte today. Basically, Early Intervention is a state-sponsored program for 0-3 year old children who may have some kind of developmental delay. Since Charlotte was 4 weeks early and then spent another 7 weeks in the hospital, she’s eligible for assessment and services, if prescribed. Generally, our insurance should cover the services. If not, the state charges a “family fee”—one flat monthly fee, based on household size and income, that covers all the services.
It was quite a scene—a team of six came to assess Charlotte: the Client Services manager, Nurse Manager, Speech Therapist, Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist, and Developmental Therapist. They arrived within minutes of one another. Philippe answered the door and said, “Gee, I didn’t realize this was going to be a party!”
And, party it was. Of sorts. The therapists and nurse bombarded us with questions, all at the same time, while three of them poked, prodded, measured, and assessed Charlotte. We were fielding questions, trying not to give duplicate information, and trying to listen to what they were telling each other. I wish I could paint a complete picture of this structured chaos.
Everyone was quite upbeat and supportive of our efforts to date. The PT was amazed that our pediatrician had recommended a hip ultrasound as these are fairly new guidelines—confirming that our pediatric practice is on the cutting edge and does the right things. We were energized and exhausted by the 90 minutes. (Charlotte and I passed out on the couch when they left and were still sleeping when our pal Eve got here).
We got on-the-spot results and recommendations. Here’s the scoop: The Developmental and Speech Therapists felt that communication skills were all age appropriate (2 months, adjusted for gestational age to accommodate her early arrival) and recommended no follow up at this point. The Developmental Therapist wants to reassess her at 6 months of age.
As we expected, the Physical and Occupational Therapists recommended that we have weekly PT and OT to help us with her twisty neck and flat head. In addition, we’ll work on weight bearing (she’s not doing that at all) and keeping her on par with milestones for her age. PT isn’t willing to commit to the diagnosis of Torticollis, but said that regardless of what you call it, we will treat the issues in the same manner. The RN recommended that we have a Feeding specialist come in twice a month to monitor sucking, latching, eating, etc.
We can accept or refuse any services. We’re going to go with the PT and OT, of course. We want to aggressively deal with her neck and head so that we can see results quickly, and avoid the dreaded cranial band. As for the Feeding Specialist, we’ll probably have them come once and see what it’s all about. Since we’re working with someone at Children’s already, we don’t need redundancy.
In case you’re curious, all services will occur at our home. Part of the state’s approach is to deliver services in the child’s natural environment. I’m very grateful that getting Charlotte what she needs is not going to increase our schlepping time just yet.