It's been a busy week filled with therapy and two appointments at Children's (more on that in another post) and today, we had Bean's quarterly evaluation for Early Intervention (EI).
In these appointments, we review his goals and progress towards goals with one or more of his therapists and his service coordinator. I was pleased to see all the progress that Bean has made in the last three months - he is walking, dancing, more interactive and beginning to imitate more sounds, gestures and even some words.
These appointments are also the best time to make changes to his Individualized Family Services Plan (IFSP) - including goals, therapists, frequencies, etc... We adjusted his OT schedule a bit and added Speech. Most importantly, though, I finally worked up the nerve to request a new PT.
This was a really big deal for me. I have been wanting a change for a long time, but I have just felt bad about requesting the change. His current (well, previous now) therapist has been with us since Bean enrolled in EI at 8 months old. We have established a personal relationship and both Bean and Baby J were comfortable with her. Still, it never really felt like a good fit to me.
My approach to Bean's therapy is very proactive and I want to get him all the help I possibly can before he progresses to the DART system at 3-years old. His PT was very reactive in her approach and in my opinion, was focusing on the present and not really working towards future goals. I like her personally but I was very turned off, as soon as Bean started walking, when she suggested reducing his services. This was actually the 2nd time that she had suggested reducing his services. Bean is almost two and is still significantly delayed in gross motor skills. His doctors and other therapists strongly agreed with me that he needs as much (proactive) therapy as possible. When I told her that I wasn't interested in reducing PT, she accepted that but it was always the giant elephant in the room...
Still, I held off on requesting a new therapist because I just felt bad. I like her. I don't want to hurt her feelings (and yes it will hurt her feelings. She once told me that another family requested a new therapist and it made her feel really bad. I know, totally inappropriate conversation).
But in planning for this meeting, I knew that I had to make the change. Bean is about to turn two and only has one year left in EI. It will become a lot harder for him to qualify for services when he turns three so we need to get as much therapy in as possible.
I thought about it long and hard and realized that I am not firing her. She is not losing any income or reputation. It just isn't a good fit for our family. We need to do what is best for Bean.
So, I did it. II stood up for Bean and got him what he deserves. His service coordinator took care of the calls to avoid any uncomfortable conversations and he has a new therapist starting on Tuesday. She comes very highly recommended from his other therapists (that are already both GREAT fits for our family) as a proactive, energetic, adaptive and positive PT. I can't wait.
I do feel bad. And I know she feels bad. But it's really not about her or me. It's all about Bean and what is best for him.