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Early Intervention

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We have decided to go ahead and see if Matthew really needs Early Intervention. Does this mean that we feel Matthew needs it? No, not necessarily but we owe it to him to find out. Our pediatrician filed the paperwork for us and last week I met with someone.

The woman came to the house and walked me thru the process. The next step in the process is having Matthew evaluated. This will take place this Thursday in our home. I’m actually glad that they come to me so they can see him in his own environment. There will be 3 people coming (speech specialist, educational specialist and a physical therapist).

Now from what I understand a child has to have severe delays in order to be eligible for EI. We do not think he has severe delays but like I said we owe it to Matthew to find out. If it turns out these people feel he is delayed but not to the extent where he needs EI they can guide me to other places/people to help him. If they feel he is not delayed at all, well that’s even better. If he does need EI then the next step after the evaluation would be to set up a game plan to help him.

Throughout this process, we the parents are involved in every step along the way. All the meetings will take place in our home and the times will be what are good for us not the specialists (at least that’s what I was told).

Over this last week Matthew has started saying new words like thank you, good morning, tree and achoo. Granted he doesn’t pronounce them properly but it’s a start. He has started to visually recognize a car and bus and will say the words when he sees them. He definitely knows who mommy is because he’ll always point to our wedding picture that my mom has in her house and he’ll pick it up and say MAMA and give the picture a kiss. His attention span is broadening as well when it comes to watching children’s programs but we’re still working on story time.

So we’ll see what happens Thursday and take it from there.


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  1. Buh4Bee's Avatar
    Good for you. If anything, you'll have more information to work with.
  2. Janine's Avatar
    You might want to check out this site. It seems to me, as far as speech is concerned, that Matthew is right on target. Is he now around 18 months old? I can't recall when his birthday was but it seemed to be closer to the fall.
  3. Paulclem's Avatar
    My daughter was a late talker. She's now very much into the Japanese and Italian languages, and so you never know.

    With attentive parents like yourselves, he'll be fine I'm sure. He's a lucky chap to have you getting him checked out and going the extra mile. Kids! they are a constant worry - but luckily also a joy.

    All the best.
  4. qimissung's Avatar
    I think you're doing a good thing. He's probably fine for a baby who is essentially learning his second language, but if I were in your shoes I also would take advantage of the services available, since you basically don't really know much about Matthew's early life. Best to uncover something now than later.

    Your an intelligent, thoughtful and thorough parent, pussnboots, and your doing a great job!
    Updated 03-23-2011 at 11:15 PM by qimissung
  5. Janine's Avatar
    I just checked out their website for New York State and I am confused. They have a checklist and it seems to me, from what you and your husband have told us, that Matthew is within the perameters of where he should be at 18 months.

    At 18 months of age, most children:
    •like to push and pull objects
    •say at least six words
    •follow simple directions ("Bring the ball")
    •pull off shoes, socks and mittens
    •can point to a picture that you name in a book
    •feed themselves
    •make marks on paper with crayons
    •walk without help
    •walk backwards
    •point, make sounds, or try to use words to ask for things
    •say "no," shake their head, or push away things they don't want

    *Also note above it says "most children".

    Rochelle, have you and your husband read the website? It seems that most kids are tested after 3, unless they have really obvious pronounced disabilities. If it sets you mind to rest, I would have him tested; but I do think you have nothing to worry about. My son talked late as well and he walked late and now you can't shut him up at times....same with his daughter on the walking. I was told back then raising him, that girls talk sooner than boys anyway.
    Updated 03-21-2011 at 09:42 PM by Janine
  6. pussnboots's Avatar
    Janine: I'm well aware of what is expected of Matthew at his age. This is something I feel that should be done.
  7. Virgil's Avatar
    Oh don't be concerned people. Matthew is pretty much on target, though I do think he might be a little behind on speech. It was actually my observation of his speech that started this. Four months ago he was beginning to speak and then for some reason he regressed where he wasn't saying many words any longer. He completely understands a slew of words. I actually find it remarkable how he understands so much. But he doesn't seem to put out words. Now he's actually getting back to where he was and maybe gone beyond. I mentioned this to the pediatrician on last visit and she decided that the early intervention people should evaluate him. This is just an evaluation. If he's behind, he's not radically behind, and I suspect he is not going to be eligible for early intervention. If he's selected, fine. I see no reason that this would be a negative for him. It doesn't cost us anything and more attention to his development can only be good for him, whether he needs it or not.
  8. Janine's Avatar
    pussnboots, if it makes you feel more comfortable and secure about his development, then I guess it will be fine. I will be surprised if they say he is having any really serious problems with development. He seems to be a child with a lot of expressiveness and personality. My grand-daughter, in the first 2 years, often did what I call 'baby babble'; it was really funny, because I would struggle to understand what she was saying and then ask my son and he usually told me to ask her mother - that she usually knew...but most times I found out she didn't. We would all laugh or act like we knew exactly what Brooke was saying. It wasn't till later she expanded her vocabulary. It's like walking - once they get on two feet, they are off and running.

    Do you sing songs and recite rhymes to Matthew? I read where they actually can learn faster from people's interaction using silly nursery rhymes and songs - seems rhyming helps them to string words together or remember them better. Also the repetition is a plus, but you have probably read this already and know it can benefit small ones.
  9. pussnboots's Avatar
    Janine: "if it makes me feel more comfortable and secure about his development, then you guess it will be fine". So glad to have your approval!!!!

    WE,not just myself, are doing this for Matthew !!!
  10. TheFifthElement's Avatar
    I've never heard of early intervention - it sounds like a process to identify and address learning difficulties or development needs, is that right? If so, it sounds like a sensible course of action. You'll probably find that he is developing perfectly well but it might well give you some pointers as to how you can augment his development or address any issues arising out of the change in language. It's a bit of a specialist area, I don't think you can compare general experience to Matthew's experience. I'm not sure how I'd handle it if it were me, but I think you're right to put Matthew's needs first. I'd imagine that having been exposed to one language, to be plunged into another without any cross over point must be terribly confusing especially at an age where they start to develop their language skills. So if I was in a similar situation and such services were available and to the benefit of my child, I'm sure I'd want to do the same thing. Like Virgil said, I can't see how any of the outcomes to this can be negative. Either Matthew is fine and you have nothing to worry about, or Matthew needs a bit of help and they will help you to give him that extra help.

    And you prove, yet again, what a diligent and caring set of parents you are, and how much you want the best for him no matter what's involved. Matthew is a lucky boy, I hope he appreciates you when he's older

    Will you let us know how it all turns out?
  11. pussnboots's Avatar
    Fifth: you are absolutely correct in your assessment of what early intervention is. I should point out that even though he was spoken to in russian the first year of his life, I don't think the switch to English is the problem. It's more of him articulating his needs and such.

    I will let you know how it turns out.
  12. The Comedian's Avatar
    It sounds like you don't have much to lose -- as has been observed here by several people. Hope the evaluation goes well and that they say that Matthew is fine and doesn't need any help -- personally, the less doctors, specialists, speech paths, OTs, PTs, counselors. . . . the better off everyone is.
  13. Cunninglinguist's Avatar
    I believe that Einstein didn't talk until he was about 4 or thereabouts. I might just be making that up - but, if true, then "delayed" doesn't necessarily mean "not going to become the next greatest physicist in the world."

    @Janine. It's important not to expose a child to too many doctors, elsewise they start to feel "different" and thus alienated. It's a parent's job to be concerned, but there is a such thing as too much concern. They call it "helicopter-parenting," and it doesn't do any great service to a childs development. Ironic, isn't it?

    Growing up with a mentally (and physically) disabled brother I understand how stressful it can be. I imagine being a parent is, in many respects, even more stressful. At any rate, I hope everything will prove OK.
  14. motherhubbard's Avatar
    I love EI. It makes a huge difference in the lives of those children who need it. I'm doubtful that Matthew does but I think you are right to check. I know you have his best interest in mind. I'll tell you- having parents that are concerned makes Matthew one lucky boy. I see too many kids that have delays (some pretty bad) simply because they were not interacted with as babies or toddlers. Of course there are also those who are delayed for other reasons, but many parents are just not concerned about their child's development. Maybe that's more of a regional problem. Things are a little different here in the back woods of the universe
  15. Virgil's Avatar
    For those interested, this is the website for New York City Early Intervention program:
  16. OrphanPip's Avatar
    Seems like a completely reasonable and responsible thing to do, good for you two.
  17. pussnboots's Avatar
    Our concerns have been put to rest. Not only doesn't Matthew qualify for EI, he doesn't even need it!!!
  18. qimissung's Avatar
    That is wonderful news, pussnboots. I'm glad those particular concerns have been put to rest.
  19. Buh4Bee's Avatar
    My mother adopted a child from China 12 years ago. She was 2 when they brought her home. She had speech issues, but a perfectly normal IQ.
  20. Janine's Avatar
    That is great news. So happy for all of you. How 'bout we see more photos of cutie pie Matthew? I always look forward to those. Have you taken any more videos? Those would be so much fun to see.
    Updated 03-27-2011 at 12:28 AM by Janine
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