When our daughter Laney was about 18 months old her doctor asked us if she was always “so quiet” and if she responded to us when we spoke to her. I told him that when she was very involved with toys she would not hear us the first few times we called her, but that wasn’t unusual. We were devastated when he suggested we have hr evaluated by the Early Intervention team.
It took us several days to call the intake number, and we asked everyone we knew if they thought anything was wrong with Laney. We watched her and compared her to other children we knew. She did seem to get bored easily and moved from toy to toy quickly. She used “muh” and “dah” instead of Mom or Dad like some other children her age. We finally made the call.
The intake and evaluation happened quickly and we were assured that Laney’s delays would be easily addressed by her Teacher and Speech Therapist. They asked us what we wanted her to do and how to fit the program into our family life. The Marc team set up their meetings with Laney to fit her nap time and our schedule. On the first visit they asked me a lot of questions- which I thought was odd at first.
They helped us understand that their role was to help us make it easier for Laney to be part of our family routines, and not to provide direct therapy like a hospital. I wasn’t sure how this was going to work but they encouraged us to give the program a try and to see how we felt about her progress over the first few months.
Laney wasn’t interested at first and the first sessions were mostly working at keeping her in the room. We continued to work and little by little we saw Laney begin to pay more attention to toys and to her father and me. She began to use signs along with her sounds. I cried the first time she called me “Mom”- it sounded like music to me!
Laney’s third birthday is approaching and her services are coming to an end. We’ve reviewed all the milestones we’ve met with her team from Marc and we’re all celebrating the start of her new life. She is going to preschool and I know I will probably cry again on the first day I drop her off. I will also know she is ready to make new friends and that she is ready to learn about the world outside of our house. Her team has helped us think about what we want for her in a preschool and we have made a choice that will be a good “fit” for Laney.
It seems like years since our doctor asked us those questions about Laney and suggested she might have some delays in her development. We are grateful that we were able to get her the services she needed and that we had the Marc team to work with us to get her ready to start school.