A Wonderful Resource: Early Intervention For Infants/Toddlers With Delays or Disabilities

As mentioned in my last post, my son received early intervention because of his prematurity.  He is now 3 years old and caught up developmentally. It was a wonderful resource! If you’re a parent with an infant or toddler who is concerned about the development of your child, talk to your pediatrician and  call your local early intervention agency.

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Early Intervention Helped My Son Who Was Premature

I am usually optimistic but this situation made me think of the worse. It was and has become one of the scariest days of my life! My youngest son Andrew was born premature. He was born when I was 29 weeks pregnant. I was unprepared for his birth. It was unexpected and very scary. I checked myself into the hospital for unexpected bleeding on Friday, had some tests done and I was sent home. The same thing happened on Saturday. I had a strong feeling that something wasn’t right. I ended up having contractions on Sunday and bled heavily.  I checked myself into the hospital Sunday, was evaluated and rushed into the delivery room where I literally gave birth 15 minutes later. I was emotionally and physically exhausted!

After mixed emotions filled the delivery room, I gave birth to baby Andrew who was just a little over 2 lbs. After his birth, I heard a weak cry. He was brought into my arms and then whisked away. After awaking from sleep that seemed liked days long, my husband and I were told we could visit Andrew in the NICU. There, I saw his tiny body lay in an incubator attached to a respirator, and many different lines attached to machines that detected his heart rate and oxygen level. I was overwhelmed seeing and listening to the nurse explain to us of his current condition. Fortunately, he did not have many health issues. He was on and off the respirator and ate poorly. He needed supplements and was on some medications. Each day I visited him, held him in my arms and prayed for strength and good health. After 3 months that seemed liked years, Andrew was released from the NICU and went home to his siblings.

After bringing Andrew home, I was anxious. He was fragile and still so small compared to my other children. Fast forward several months,  Andrew was growing fast physically but developmentally, he did not seem to be caught up. I recall Drew’s pediatrician recommending Early Intervention which at that time, I thought was too early.  I decided it was time to call them. They came by for an assessment and Andrew qualified for Early Intervention. For almost 2 years, Andrew had early intervention for speech and other general skills. For each appointment, the specialists conducted therapy at home. Each session was an hour and it was 2 days a week. Andrew flourished and caught up quickly with Early Intervention. I highly believe that Drew is successfully caught up and sometimes think he could be older than his age because of Early Intervention.

A brief explanation of Early Intervention:

-It provides support and services to infants/toddlers who may be at risk of developing a handicapping condition or other special needs that may affect their development.

-Early intervention can begin at any time between birth and school age.

-Specialists help to enhance the child’s development and to provide support to the family.

– There is evidence that Early Intervention (EI) increases the developmental and educational gains for the child

Andrew’s my super boy (man)! He was born fighting and still continues to flourish! He is currently 3 years old! He speaks full sentences and getting prepared for pre-school in September! Stay tuned for a video on the next post on Early Intervention during home visits…

 

 

 

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My Journal/Poem(#6) : It Is Funny How Things Turn Out!

After my son got sick recently and threw up, the minor disagreement my husband and I  had was pretty much forgotten. It made me think and this was what I came up with.. Enjoy!

 

It Is Funny How Things Turn Out!

My son found a paper bill under a bush after he said he wanted to save up for a special gift for his friend who was admitted to the hospital for being really sick,

The bill turned out to be 20$! He was so happy, he jumped in the air and thanked good ole’ St. Nick!

A couple had a bickering disagreement before bedtime and 2 hours later their 2 year old son throws up from being sick,

This unfortunate incident allowed for the couple to care and comfort their son bringing together the sad and loving couple quick,

A homeless and very lonely man with hardly any money walks by a begging mother and her crying baby. Without hesitation, he hands them 75 cents,

On his way to a bridge which was what he called his home, a stranded puppy runs to him, licks his face, bringing him the biggest smile.. It all made sense!

Life is funny sometimes: you’re sad one minute and you’re laughing out loud another minute,

Life is also interesting: you’re joking one minute and you’re crying another minute,

It is funny how things turn out!

Written by: Mary Tran

 

My Poem (#5): You Are My Support (From A Child’s View)

When I observed a child at the park just the other day in crutches, she sat and watched her mother play with her little brother on the slide, on the jungle gym and on the swings. After sitting for almost 10 minutes, her mother and brother (toddler age) walked to her sister and  helped her sit on the adapted swing. Her brother who could not be more than 4 years old, pushed her on the swing. It was a touching scene! The girls’ eyes lit up and she smiled and laughed as her mother took pictures on her phone. After coming home that day, I thought of this park image that was stuck in my head, my students and my children and came up with this poem below.

 

   You Are My SUPPORT 

When I feel unattractive, you make me feel like I’m the most beautiful person around,

When my world is dark and a blur, you give me light and clear my path,

When I feel small, you make me feel like I’m the center of the universe,

When I feel embarrassed, you find ways to make me feel confident,

When I am afraid, you make me unafraid and fearless,

When I am ignored, you make me feel like I am the only one who exists,

When I feel helpless, you make me feel strong and competent,

When I am unaware, you help me feel cognizant and receptive,

When I am anxious, you comfort me with your magical words and hugs,

When I am tired, you tell me it’s ok and make me comfortable so I can rest,

When I succeed, you give me endless complements, praise and high fives,

When I am happy, you are even happier!

You are my mother, father, sister, brother, grandmother, grandfather, aunt, uncle, cousin, teacher and friend,

You are my support, my caretaker, my angel, my heart, my love and my shoulder to cry on until the end.

 

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Journal 4: On Summer Mode: Sipping Lemonade and Thinking “Autism”

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School is out and I’m spending quality time with my children. One of my favorite drinks in the summer time is a nice cold glass of lemonade. While enjoying one just now, I was thinking about the list of things I have recycled from my own children and still need to purchase before September. In my experience with my own children (2 of whom are toddlers ages 3 and 4) and some experience with children with autism, I have come up with a list of “must haves” for my classroom. Some things are “must haves” in a typical Kindergarten classroom:

1) timer (s): used to time breaks, lessons or transitions

2) the big duplex legos

3) toy vehicles (bus, cars and trucks)  and a rug with roads

5) bean bag chairs (used for breaks)

6) various puzzles

7) bins used for organization and have a clutter free space

8) name strips for arranged seating and to label cubbies

9) painter’s tape: used to define space for each child

10) various size plastic balls

11) folders for each student: used to organize data, progress and goals

12) tennis balls used to decrease noise level under the legs of student chairs and tables

Here are just some of the things that I have in mind currently.  A week from now, my list may get bigger. For now, less is better as long as it is a necessity!

For those who are on summer break, hope it is a relaxing and a fun one!