When you realize your child has a delay/deficit, you will learn very quickly how many people are in your corner. Of course most of us will have our friends and family to help us out physically and emotionally; but there is also a million other people who will come in and make an impact on your child.
- Doctors- your child’s pediatrician can open many doors for you in terms of healthcare and therapies. Having a doctor you can trust and who can really listen to your concerns is one of the best relationships you can have for your child. My son’s developmental pediatrician is amazing; I never feel rushed and he listens to every question I have. He goes above and beyond for my son, getting us every therapy and every opportunity Eli deserves.
- Therapy/School recruiters- Once your child gets referrals for therapy or school based services you first talk to a recruiter/office staff to set up evaluations and meetings. Being nice to these people may mean more opportunities for your child. But always remember to be persistent! These people are extremely busy, especially in my location, and sometimes they need an extra nudge or phone call to get the ball rolling. We were on a time crunch to get an IEP done before we moved to California. Our team in Michigan got the whole thing done in about 30 days start to finish. It was amazing, everyone really understood how quickly we needed it done and stepped up for us. After we moved to California I reached out to the school district for a new IEP and I spoke with the Speech director for the special education program and she asked me to meet her the very next day! Reaching out to anyone and everyone you can is how your child will get all these services.
- Therapists- In my personal opinion, the therapists are the main relationship you need keep healthy, because they are in a child’s life more than some working parents are. My son currently gets 21 hours of therapy a week from 4 different therapists (we haven’t even started OT yet!) and I LOVE all of his therapists and they all LOVE Eli. You need to like and TRUST these people. If you don’t like a therapists or your child just doesn’t mesh well with them SPEAK UP!! There are no hard feelings; the therapists will just move on to another patient and you can get someone who works for your family. When my son was a year and a half we started speech back home in Michigan. This was before the diagnosis and our first time ever doing any type of therapy. Lisa came into our home and made us part of her family. She cared about Eli and she listened to every one of my questions, concerns, and stories. Even though we have moved across the country she still likes to hear updates on him, amazing!
Everyone in Eli’s life is teaching him something. We have a lot of people in our corner helping and guiding us through this process. Some are even just here to cheer him on. The bigger the support group, the brighter my son becomes.