Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Early Intervention

Now that Lauren has reached the ripe old age of 17 months, she is old enough to attend "school". It's actually Early Intervention (EI for short), which if you don't know, is a chance for little tiny kids to get together with other tiny little kids and their parents and play, sing, eat snacks and chat while therapists roll you through a series of 'therapeutic' activities.

Here in Michigan we are pretty lucky - we have options. These options include taking Lauren to an EI group that is just other kids who are developmentally delayed. This runs the gamut from Down syndrome to cerebral palsy to prematurity to syndromes and disorders that are so rare that the child you are looking at may be 1 of only 250 in the United States. The advantage here is that all of the kids are behind, and therefore, somehow, equal. The parents can compare notes, cheer one another on and appreciate the uncommon joy of celebrating a child of 2 taking her first steps!

The other option is a playgroup that would be a combination of kids who are "typically" developing = no significant or global delays along side kids with diagnosed conditions, delays, syndromes etc. We would do the same things in this group as the other - so no difference there.

The appeal of this is that Lauren would be with kids who are modeling skills that we want her to learn eventually -walking, talking, grabbing toys from other children, throwing tantrums, biting, ignoring their parent, etc...

It's a tough decision for me because I really like both of the teachers and the therapists. I love the idea of Lauren being with typical peers as that is where I want her to spend most of her life. But, at 17 months, she has nothing to prove and I mostly just want her to be comfortable. Truth is, she's almost always comfortable when she is with me.

Today I took her to meet the counselors I work with at Monroe High school. One of them commented on her sweet nature. Yes, that is true. Another made a comment that irritated me for awhile. She looked at another counselor and said "she seems pretty normal to me".

Hello, she is normal!!


Catherine Finn said...

Yes, that "normal" word gets thrown around alot. I wish they would say typical instead.
That's great Lauren is in EI. Your little girl is growing up! :)

The Lehnick Family said...

Here in California I think services only provide toddler time from 18 months-3 and it is only those that are developmentally behind...then at 3 they go into a typical preschool that is cool you have a decision...but I think I lean more towards her not having to prove anything like you said...just having fun and she will learn no matter where she is at. She is such a cutie! Can't believe she is already 17 months...I can remember reading your posts when I was pregnant last year...they do grow up fast!

Jessica said...

That's a really tough decision. I'm sure the right choice will come to you. Isn't it nice though, when our tough decisions are about which great oppurtunity to give our kids?

Jennie said...

Wow. As far as I know, there's no group settings available here in WI (at least in our county) until school at age 3. I'm not sure what I would choose in your situation, but I like the thought of being around other families who are positive and encouraging to those kids who might have to work a bit harder than others to reach their milestones.

Gabe, Curtis and Dav

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