4th Birthday Photo Session

4th Birthday Photo Session

Thursday, July 14, 2011

OT, EI and the housekeeper

I find it pretty pathetic that it takes a home visit from Andi's OT, for me to carve out 10 minutes to do a speck of housekeeping.  I don't mind Andi and I on the floor, covered in dog hair... but, asking others to endure such filth is another story.  It's not THAT bad, but, by the standards of a reformed clean freak, it's unacceptable.  I look around our family room, and it seems to be taken over by all things Bean.  Gone are the days of a coffee table. Now, we fashion a large towel over the area rug, that covers the hardwood floor.  An attempt for a soft cushion under the Bean.  Then, we're surrounded by toys.  Some play music, some dance, some are old style plastic blocks.  Basically, the whole room is Andi's play area, therapy area, and it looks like Babies 'R Us threw up a bunch of crap all over the room.  It's insane.

Andi has figured out how to get around the room - by rolling, and sadly, she gravitates to the TV and TV stand.  At some point, we really need to put the TV on the wall and get that hazard out of her reach.

Our OT brought us a new bag of books.  It's a program they have where they rotate a bag of 3 or 4 age-appropriate books to the different families they work with.  Without this program, some of the kids don't get exposed to books.  As someone who has worked in publishing sales for 16 years now, it baffles me to think of families not having books. I have some books for Andi, but even those get stale after awhile.  I've found this program to be very rewarding for us too, despite our little library. I've already pledged to donate a lot of our books to the program, to give them more books to rotate.  So far, my favorite books are some "hear & feel" books.  They have sound chips in them, so when you push on the button, it makes a sound and the entire book vibrates.  These books have been a lot of fun because it also is great for kids like Andi who have some level of hearing impairment. The vibration of the book helps keep her engaged.  I was never interested in the kids books we've sold until Andi.  But now, I'm finding myself the biggest critic of them!  Getting back to Early Intervention... this program is amazing. I honestly wrote a big tribute to it yesterday, and felt I got a little too political - so I decided to cut it completely.  Here's a snippet of what EI is for us:

The Oregon Department of Education contracts with local agencies to provide a statewide system of free services for young children with developmental delays and disabilities and their families, including:
  • Early Intervention (EI)--Individually designed services for children birth to three and support for parents to enhance children's physical, cognitive, communication, social or emotional and/or adaptive development;
  • Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE)--Specially designed instruction for children ages 3 to the age of public school eligibility including physical, speech/language, mobility, social or emotional, and others.

So, EI is how we get our OT and an audiologist coming to our house once a week to work with Andi.  The house visits are the best because it engages Andi in her environment where she's more likely to do well. It also gives us a break from the once ridiculous amounts of outside appointments we used to keep. In addition to bringing us books, they've lent us toys or "signing time" videos.  It's amazing to me the variety of stuff they expose us to, and allow us to try.  For example, one of the toys Andi really liked at her PT appointment is a big plastic piggy bank with these huge coins.  I've looked at three different stores to find it and haven't yet found.  I was telling our OT about it yesterday and she said she had one in the car we could borrow for a week.  She also told me where to find it. Andi's playing with it now, and almost as happy as she can be playing solo during her afternoon feed.  So, EI, has been a wonderful program that we have definitely benefited from. If you have extra kids books or toys laying around, perhaps a program like EI could better utilize your stuff, instead of Goodwill, and some of the more well-funded charities or organizations.  There are a lot of programs out there that are constantly threatened with budget cuts, and yet they are the ones that do so much for kids that have to fight harder than most.  Perhaps they could benefit more from some simple offerings from us all.  Everyone is struggling, but those lesser known programs, probably could really use a light shining down on all the good they do for us all, especially 'da baby Bean!  So, do some housekeeping yourself and really consider giving your unwanted or unused items to a program like Early Intervention.  And, no, they don't want your dust bunnies chock full of dog hair.  I've already tried to give them mine!

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