Yo soy La Lay

adventures in family, faith, and Down syndrome

Lesson #8: EI, EI, ooooooh do we have goals!

on October 8, 2014

This is part of the 31 for 21 Blog Challenge!

Tessa’s disability qualifies her for Early Intervention (EI).  Any child who is diagnosed with a disability or developmental delay can receive these services in some way.  Most kids would have to go through a series of tests to determine if they qualify for Early Intervention.  Down syndrome is an automatic qualifier.

In Illinois, Early Intervention is not free.  However, the out-of-pocket cost is very low in comparison to what one might pay for therapies outside of EI.  The monthly charge is on a sliding scale based on income.

Potential qualifiers for EI go through an initial evaluation to determine what services are needed to help the child.  The initial evaluation was the craziest part of the whole process for me.  A lot of professionals sitting in my living room, asking a million questions about Tessa and her birth and her progress (at four weeks old) and then asking what I would like her goals to be… not my shining moment as a mother.

What goals would YOU have for your four week old baby??

So anyway, an evaluation happens.  After the evaluation, when we have determined what the delays are, we write an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP).  It explains our goals for Tessa, written in a way that explains what we want her to do (and why).  This document helps direct the services that we receive.  Services received through EI must support the written goals, so it is important to write a plan that covers every aspect of your child’s development that may need help.  Here are Tessa’s goals:

Tessa will continue to progress in her feeding, be able to self-feed and eat a variety of textures and temperatures.
Tessa will begin to communicate with people in her environment (something was added
here about all different types of communication, but I don’t remember how we worded it).
Tessa will be able to sit and play without assistance.
Tessa will interact with toys and people in her environment in all of the positions (sitting, back, tummy).
Tessa will begin to move independently by scooting, crawling, and walking

IFSPs are reviewed every six months.  If we want to add any services, we have to have a meeting in which we decide that it is necessary.  John and I are of the opinion that we should “frontload” the therapy now, while we have time (ha.) and it is covered under EI.  The hope is that we won’t have to have quite as much when Tessa is older.  So, she has speech/oral motor therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy each once a week.  We currently have developmental therapy once a month, but are planning to increase to once a week in another month or so.  Speech and O/T both go to daycare to work with her.  We have D/T and P/T at home.  🙂

Tomorrow, more on what therapy looks like with a little baby.  I bet you can’t wait.  😉

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One response to “Lesson #8: EI, EI, ooooooh do we have goals!

  1. […] get the most questions about the therapy that Tessa gets through Early Intervention, so I’d like to break down what her sessions look like for each area. Today, we’ll […]

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