Soon after our first son was placed in our home, I noticed some strange behaviors. He would become easily frustrated with his toys screaming or throwing them when they didn’t work how he wanted them to. He was 16 months when I sought early intervention (EI) services for him. At that time, the special education teacher didn’t feel he needed regular visits but agreed to keep a file open on him should other behaviors arise.
When he was three, his tantrums and sensory functions didn’t seem normal. He was entered into the Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) program for 3-5 year olds. In this program he attended two days a week at 2 ½ hours at a time in a preschool like setting. He worked with an occupational therapist (OT) as well as a speech pathologist (SP). The ECSE program in addition to a community preschool helped my son to better express himself verbally. Because the class size was relatively small, he was given a fair amount of attention for guidance and therapy.
Services for my younger son were requested when he was over a year old. He was not yet using jargon (babbling, baby talk) and I was concerned. We had him evaluated and though he scored very low in many areas, he did not score low enough to qualify. My concern for him was, because he did score so low and wasn’t eligible for services that he would fall through the cracks. I refused to accept no for an answer. Since my son had been exposed parentally to drugs, his doctor stated to EI that there was a higher likelihood that there was something more going on with him. He was qualified.
He is currently in a parent involved class for 1 hour once a week for 2 ½–3 year olds. EI is helping him with speech and his cognitive abilities. We will be having him evaluated very soon to see if hopefully he is qualified for the ECSE program where he will get more intense services.
The EI and ECSE programs have made a huge difference in my kids’ lives and mine. Not only have the teachers and specialists worked with my children, they’ve worked with me too. They’ve given me tools to better help my children at home as well as information on their unique issues so that I can better understand they’re needs. My oldest son is now in kindergarten and so far doing very well. I am certain if it hadn’t been for ECSE, he wouldn’t be where he is today. My younger son is progressing well and I am optimistic for his future as a result.
Melissa is a Families.com Christian Blogger. Read her blogs at: http://members.families.com/mj7/blog