Timothy's evaluation today
First of all, many thanks to all who have prayed for us today! I was very nervous about today's meeting. In case you aren't familiar with what I'm talking about, you can read about a discouraging home visit we had recently here and also about some of our fears that we had after that visit here. That led us up to today when Timothy was to be evaluated for eligibility for intervention services (therapy). Basically, it boils down to whether or not Timothy qualifies for some free services through Help Me Grow. If not, we would need to pursue private therapy. Like I said, I was really nervous. However, with a big sigh of relief, I can say things went pretty well. Unlike the 1 lady from the last home visit, this man did very little probing into things not pertaining to Timothy nor did he ask a lot of questions regarding the other children. When I mentioned that we homeschool, he was perfectly fine with that and never once pushed or suggested the MRDD school for Timothy (in fact, he discouraged it because of a waiting list). There was some paperwork to be filled out and then he mostly asked me questions about Timothy but he also did some one-on-one things with Timothy. There was a "test" for each area of Timothy's development and at the top of each page, he had a score already written there that was a kind of guideline. After he completed each page, this gentleman was very straight forward and would say things like "I was looking for a score of XX and Timothy scored above that so there's no concern in this area" or "I was looking for a score of XX and Timothy scored just below it which doesn't necessarily qualify him for services but it does raise red flags". Only once did he say Timothy scored well below the target score and that was only in gross motor skills (in other words, walking). Timothy did score below the guideline for language but only by 1 point which is not low enough to qualify him. Based on these scores, Timothy will qualify for therapy but only for physical therapy unless.... This gentleman will compile a report and meet next Wednesday (6/17) with his boss, a nurse, a speech therapist, and a physical therapist to discuss Timothy's scores. If everyone there is in agreement that Timothy might need speech therapy as well, then Timothy will be referred to an actual speech therapist for further evaluation. After the 6/17 meeting, we will be presented with this report and then be offered services. Basically, we'll be offered home based services for Timothy once a month or we'll be offered private in-office therapies for Timothy once a week with therapists at Children's Hospital. We will likely choose the once-a-week option both for getting Timothy off to a more rapid start and because there's another waiting list for the in-home services. If we are unhappy with the options presented to us, we can always pursue private therapies by prescription from our pediatrician. One of my biggest fears was that we wouldn't be able to deny therapies they suggested and this gentleman assured me that was not the case. I also have that in writing with some of the paperwork he left with me. That makes me feel TONS better! And I was told Timothy is a very bright little boy as he scored very well in the other areas such as cognitive skills and fine motor skills. This man told me he'd never seen a 18-month-old hold a marker so properly to draw with! :) Overall, it was a pleasant experience although it left me emotionally drained, probably because I dwelt on it too long while waiting for today to arrive and then waiting until 3 for him to get here! Now we wait and get back to packing! We're leaving for Tennessee first thing Thursday morning so that just leaves me with tomorrow. I'm down to 2 large hampers full of dirty clothes which I'll finish tomorrow (I've done approximately 15 loads of laundry in 2 days) along with some other minor housework issues and then start actually putting things in suitcases! The plan is to vacuum the van sometime tomorrow afternoon or early evening then wash it after church (the road to our church is under construction so I don't want to wash the van until after church), come home & put the kids in bed, load the van with what we can, and hopefully leave around 6 Thursday morning. Yipee!