early intervention

i can, so far, only speak for the early intervention (ei) process here in oklahoma. but this is the process here.. and all of these steps must be completed within 45 days of the first call:

step 1: call soonerstart- oklahoma's ei through their
health department
step 2: set up consultation- someone comes to your home (or you go in to the health department- like who would do that by choice?) they conduct an interview, turn down any refreshments, and give you a few "check the box" packets to complete (called a parent "screening") while they're there. they grade the papers, and give you an idea of what to expect. the screening doesn't actually qualify the child... it just gives them an idea of what to expect and focus on.
step 3: evaluation- a team comes to the house and does a hands on evaluation.... covering some of the items in the screening, as well as others. the determination of their test will decide if the child is eligible.
step 4: if you qualify, they create a plan of care... and will come to your home to give your child the intervention that is needed. (PT/OT/ST etc.)
step 4: if you don't qualify, pray.

in oklahoma ei is available to infant through 3 years, any child with developmental delays of 50% in one category, or a delay of 25% in two categories... children with diagnosis of cerebral palsy, down syndrome and other disorders/syndromes etc. are automatically qualified. the lady who came out to do our consultation today said that oklahoma has some of the most strict guidelines to get into the program. she also didn't seem sure wren would qualify based on her screening today. (the paperwork i filled out.) but we're holding out that the evaluation will allow her services. the kicker is that apparently "the united states army won't provide services." this is according to the pediatric clinic on base. the army goes by the evaluations done by sooner start- and they won't even refer her to private PT/OT if she doesn't qualify for soonerstart. on the phone with the ped office today i asked what happens if she doesn't get soonerstart services.... since her dev ped said she needs the services, what do we do? that's when she told me that the army apparently listens to the state of oklahoma- which seems like a great way to pass the buck doesn't it? i, of course, called her out on the fact that oklahoma is extremely strict in their requirements for qualification, and we could move somewhere else and qualify... on TOP of that... if we simply didn't live close to a stupid army facility she could go to all the private doctors we can get a referral for!!! ugh. she back peddled a little when i told her we would just move. hehe... i think she believed me. (i'm not entirely sure i was bluffing myself.) anyway, she assured me that there are ways to get her services, but just wants to see how the evaluation goes. i think that is a totally reasonable request. if wren doesn't qualify... we'll see what happens.

the hardest part for me was this morning... i was feeling so torn. part of me hoped that she qualified... and part of me was praying she didn't. what an internal struggle for a mom to face.

according to the screen today she's in the "caution zone" on all gross motor skills.. but she was mid to high "caution zone". her problem solving and the entire packet of social areas she was on mid to high normal. we know that she's a happy and friendly girl... that's no surprise.


AilynRose said...

The state of Maryland automatically accepts preemies born under 2 pounds. So we got "lucky" for Ailyn. She has had intervention from the first month home from the NICU. We have OT and PT once a week. So far Ailyn has needed both, and is delayed on motor sills. I think it's a wonderful program and I hope everyone takes advantage. Very good post informing people :)

Sonia, Gary and Lydia said...

We had Lydia in Early Intervention services right out of the NICU too. She also automatically qualified because of low birth weight and prematurity. They don't have eligibility that includes that in OK? She has always been a bit behind but is now scheduled for speech therapy as she seems to have fallen behind a fair bit in that area compared to others.