Friday, April 22, 2011

Let Me Get This Straight

Those of you that follow along on this blog know that Jamie is in the process of early intervention for speech.  In this state, we have a program that provides this (and other therapeutic services for children) free of charge and in your home.  We got the referral for speech therapy in mid-March during Jamie's well child check up.

Now, the basic process works like this: call the Alliance for Infants and Toddlers and speak with the intake coordinator to give basic information.  Within two weeks a service coordinator calls and sets up an appointment to come out to the house.  At this appointment you get an overview of the program and answer a bunch of questions about your kid.  Then, you set up an appointment to meet with the evaluation team which comes in to determine if your child qualifies for the recommended services and any other possible needed services.  There was a three week gap between our initial appointment and the evaluation. Most of the questions I answered during the service coordinator visit were asked again at the evaluation.  After the evaluation, the service coordinator farms out your case to one of half a dozen outfits who have the therapists that actually work with you and your child.  They have 2 weeks to call and set up your first meeting with them.

We have now worked through the process to that point.  I just got off the phone with our speech therapist to set up Jamie's first actual appointment to, you know, HELP HIM.  They will be coming out to see him next Friday, April 29th.  (Incidentally, that's my birthday.)  At that point it will be 6 weeks from the time we started this process.  SIX.  WEEKS.  But not one useful session to help Jamie.  Now, I expected bureaucracy and that it would take time.  I'm ok with how things have gone so far.

Until the speech therapist told me that the first time she came out would essentially be yet another throw away appointment where she would EVALUATE A KID WHO HAS ALREADY BEEN EVALUATED.  Oh goody.  I get to answer the same questions for yet a third time and all because the state requires her to do so.  Can't the state be content with the information gathered already?  Apparently not.  No, they must waste both my time and the therapist's covering ground that has already been covered in agonizing thoroughness.  Meanwhile, my kid has not had one iota of progress with a problem that has plagued us for more than 6 months.  Worse yet, he only has until the age of 3 before he ages out of this program and has to move on to another.  So, yeah, wasting time is NOT what the doctor ordered.

I have no choice but to follow this little tap dance to its conclusion because if I quit now and start somewhere else, I'd just have to do all of this painful bullshit AGAIN.  I'm about ready to delve into the sticky world of internet research and figure out how to help the kid by myself.  I mean, really, I have a college degree, I know how to read, and I know how think critically and analytically.  I should be able to figure this out.  Of course, I have all the time in the world for that, right?  Riiiiiight.

This is just ridiculous.  My kid has been struggling for all this time to talk to us and he's having trouble.  We have daily frustration over trying to understand him - multiple times every day.  He gets frustrated and angry that he can't make himself understood.  He gives up trying in some instances and THAT is something I cannot stand.  I looked to these people to help my kid because it was not my area of expertise and so far all they want to do is drown me in paperwork with the idea that this somehow helps a 2 year old who can't say something as simple as "milk."

It's a good thing it will be an entire week before this woman gets here because it may take me that long to get my temper under control.  It's not her fault the state is playing paperwork games and it's not right of me to take it out on her.  But, damn, just HELP MY KID already.


  1. From the evaluation they did last week it's clear that he has an expressive language delay. He practically falls off the bottom of the eval chart in that section but he way above average or high average every where else (from motor development to understanding language - can't remember the exact term).

    We did start using some sign with him. I need to push harder with it. He gets the concept and he will sign back when I sign something for him (as in, he'll repeat things) but I've got to get it ingrained enough that he does it when he's trying to say something - without me prompting first.

    She said it's largely questions for me. I know what those questions are and I've answered them twice already. I wish the state would just accept what I've already told them TWICE and not make her ask me a third time. Why is that necessary? How is that productive? I know they have to know a baseline so that they can measure progress. Fine. WE HAVE A BASELINE. Use it instead of re-establishing it just for funsies.

    I'm just monumentally frustrated with all of this. They're supposed to be helping me - they're supposed to be the experts - and it seems like all they're experts on is fucking PAPERWORK. ARGH.

    Thank you for chiming in. I was hoping you would because I was almost certain you'd have more insight into things. I appreciate the advice. Now I just have to get my temper under control and deal with it like a big girl.

  2. I wrote a long reply and the blog deleted it. Have I told you how much I hate leaving comments at your blog? Why does blogspot make it so hard.

    I'll leave it tomorrow. Summary: Sign language, yay! That will help now and later. Ask the S&L therapist why you have to give the entry interview three times because there might be a rational reason and if there isn't she probably hates it as much as you do.