Every 6 months, we circle the wagons around Danny and take a look at where we’re at to create a monster otherwise known as an IFSP. I know what everyone is thinking: we need more lingo. CI, AVT, PT, OT, TOD, map, audi… When people ask me what I’ve learned since having my second child, I sometimes think I should tell them I’ve learned a whole new language. Instead, I tell them I’ve learned that Eric was not a fluke and we make darn cute kids.
(OK, that’s not really what I tell them. But I dare you to tell me it isn’t true.)
An IFSP, or an Individualized Family Service Plan, is basically a road map to the services Danny receives, and the outcomes those services hope to achieve. It helps to coordinate all the different therapies and other services he needs, ensure they are approved and paid through the state birth to three program, and lays the foundation on which we can advocate for Danny if we feel something is not going properly. We sit down with our coordinator and Danny’s therapists, see which goals he’s met, and lay out goals for the next 6 months, tweaking therapy frequency if needed.
The fact that it was our third IFSP struck me, when I finally had time to think about it. In short, being our third IFSP means it’s been a year since we entered into First Steps and started this crazy ride.
It’s also been a year since we learned Danny is deaf.
This time last year, as we pieced together Danny’s first IFSP, I was scared. We set goals I feared he might not be able to reach. I had no idea what was ahead of us, and I worried it would prove to be a mountain we couldn’t climb. I dreaded the answers to questions of what Danny’s CMV impact would be, and what having a deaf child would mean.
This year, there’s still a bit of trepidation - I’d be lying if I said I was always totally calm, cool, and confident when it comes to Danny. But more than that, there’s excitement. Danny’s team is great at setting goals that are within reach, and Danny for his part is great at meeting them, with the support and help he receives of course! Danny’s goals for the next 6 months are huge to me.
Responding, reliably, to his name.
Eating table foods.
Using first words.
Wow. What an exciting 6 months it is doing to be!