After 3 weeks of phone calls and paper work, we finally had part of Ivy’s evaluation to see if she is eligible for the NY State Early Intervention program. We met with a case coordinator, answered about 500 questions and signed consent forms. She told us we would have 2 therpists come to the house to do an evaluation, one to evaluate her motor skills and one to evaluate her language skills. So the physical therapist came on Tuesday, and did the evaluation.
Ivy was out of sorts, and wondering who this person was and why she was in her diaper laying on a blanket in the middle of the floor. She screamed a lot and basically refused to do anything the woman wanted to see (sit up, roll over, go get the ball etc. It was like a freaking dog show) though through questions, she was able to do a proper evaluation. Basically, she’s concerned that Ivy isn’t even standing yet, says her muscle tone is very low in her legs, and is going to qualify us for the program. We still need to meet with the language therapist since that is also part of the evaluation process, but based on the physical therapists recommendation we will do the physical therapy program. So after this next evaluation – for which I am still waiting for a phone call to schedule- we meet again with the coordinator to go over our “plan”. It all seems very bureaucratic and annoying, but I guess it is a free state based program so that kind of explains it.
While we go through this continuing process of paperwork and meetings, the physical therapist that was here did show us an exercise to do with Ivy in order to help get her standing at least. Needless to say, Ivy hates it and screams bloody murder when we do it with her. It basically involves getting her flat on her feet, squeezing her ankles between your legs and making sure her knees aren’t bent and her butt is straight. It requires two parents and earplugs. The therapist says within a week or so it will get easier as Ivy starts to ‘get it’ and it will help a) build the muscle tone and b) give her the confidence to start standing on her own. She also said when she recommends the therapist that’s going to come over for the regular physical therapy, she is going to recommend a ‘tough one who won’t get scared off by all the screaming’.
I’m still back and for between relief that Ivy is finally getting the necessary help and motivation she needs to stand and walk and anxiety and guilt at the fact that she is “developmentally delayed”. On one hand, not walking before the age of 2 isn’t unheard of and no health professional has given us any indication that it is a sign of any kind of serious issue. On the other hand, however absurd it may sound I can’t help but let the guilt creep in that I’ve somehow done something wrong. Not enough tummy time when she was an infant (she freakin hated tummy time)! Not enough holding her arms and letting her step her way around! Not enough of whatever it is that makes kids walk! Mom fail!
I know I shouldn’t beat myself up but it’s kind of hard not too. I mean, it’s not as if she behind on some small milestone; this is walking. First steps are the things of videos and remembered dates in the baby book (or blog as it were), the things you call your parents excitedly about and brag to all your friends about. It’s not like I’d change a thing about Ivy because she is perfect to me it’s just hard to deal with this one major thing and not feel like I’ve done something wrong. I guess I really should get over myself and focus on getting my little girl the help she needs.