Tuesday, July 22, 2008

One Year Anniversary

Brayden just “celebrated” his one year anniversary for being in the Early Intervention Program. The early intervention provides services to Brayden like the in-home occupational and vision therapy. We have been working with Ms. Pam, the occupational therapist for one year. Brayden has really learned to trust her and for the most part cooperates with the therapy (occasionally falling asleep right in the middle of it).

We started the program when Brayden was three months old; we had very little understanding of Brayden’s brain abnormalities and his capabilities. To start the early intervention program you create outcomes and goals that you would like to see reached over the year. That first session of writing goals, we wrote down “Brayden will sit up and play with toys by 12/07”. One year later, Brayden is 15 months old and we have barely taken steps towards that goal. It is hard to look at those goals and not feel discouraged or defeated in some way. At least there have been small (and I mean small) steps forward and not backward. He is still unable to hold up his head. His newly discovered hands are just now making their way in to his mouth. Sometimes he cannot get fingers in to his mouth and he gets extremely frustrated. His entire right side is not very active so he works more with his left hand and leg. He is starting to explore things with his left hand. He will sit and stroke things with his little fingers.

Now we are given the task write new goals for the next year.

It is a strange task to sit and discuss goals and outcomes for your child. I find it difficult to articulate what we want him to do. The goals I want met are for him to sit up, crawl, walk, be able to feed himself, start talking… All of those are unrealistic. What can I write down? How can we set goals when we have no idea what we are working towards? It has become a task of creating a completely new path that is only Brayden’s. It is really looking small steps; like the new goal is for him to bring his hands together.

I have no idea what can be expected. What is possible? What is Brayden’s potential?

Other parents play with their babies; we do learning programs.
Other kids have brothers and sisters; ours has sibling relationships.
Other babies start to talk; ours is developing his expressive language.
Other kids go to school; ours receives services.
Other kids play and exercise; ours has therapies.

1 comment:

Debbie said...

Please please please don't get discouraged. I know it is hard and I cannot even imagine what you are going through. But honestly, the Lord specifically chose YOU to be Brayden's mommy...whatever you write down on that paper doesn't matter. Just focus on the progress he does make...I hate those goal thingys...Kyle has an IEP for his expressive language disorder...it kills me when we sit down and do those goals and we put deadlines on them. The goals are nice but it is in God's time...and Brayden's isn't any different. I will continue to pray for you.