Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The End of An Era

There has been so much going on in our lives with the reno and living out of our house that I have neglected to talk about a few important things happening around here. Really important in fact, but I haven't had the energy or the time to really process them. So I'll bite them off in little chunks and start by telling you about the first one.

Last week Asher and Nolan had their very last appointment with our team from early intervention. One or more women from this team has been with us since the boys were 6 months old. First came infant development for both boys. Then physio for Asher. Then occupational therapy for Asher. Then speech for both boys. Then physio for Nolan. Then occupational therapy for Nolan. And somewhere along the way, social work. We have seen some combination of these ladies every single week for over four years.

To say we counted on them for support is the understatement of the century. From the earliest days, they were THE support network. Sure we had family and friends trying to navigate this new life with us, but after being discharged from five months of round the clock hospital care, we were scared and felt helpless and alone in taking care of our very fragile babies. Once these ladies entered our lives, we no longer felt alone. And I don't just mean in taking care of the boys and giving them therapy and helping us adapt our home and lives to their needs - I mean emotional support. I cannot tell you the number of questions I have asked them and the number of times I have cried to them. The laughs and happy memories we have shared are thankfully equally as considerable.

But now, it is time to say goodbye. Once the boys became eligible for school (which they are as of this school year as per Canadian school entrance, even though they aren't five till November) their care transferred to the school age team. So even if we had wanted to hold the boys back a year so they weren't SO young (remember they weren't even supposed to be born until next February and therefore "shouldn't" be starting school till next September) we would go a year with no support - no early intervention team and no school team. Obviously, we've chosen to send them to school.

Once again, I feel scared and helpless and alone. I'm sure their school therapists will be great, but it is not the same model of care. In school it is more "consultation" - meaning the therapists put a plan in place for the boys and it is up to the teacher and the EA to carry it out throughout the normal activities of the school day. That's great, and practical. But not the same. That relationship we had with the early intervention therapists won't be there for either us parents, or the boys. I know that we should look at this like a happy time - a new stage in the boys' life. And it is. But at this point it's hard to feel happy about it when things are so different. It's the end of an era.

So we forge on. We trust that over the past four years we have built up the strength and advocacy skills needed to move on without a team of professionals at our beck and call. We will be fine without them. We will be fine without them. We will be fine without them.  It might just take a while. And boy oh boy will they be missed.

3 comments:

  1. Oh I remember that transition - it's so hard to say good bye!

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  2. Oh Tracey, I have no doubt you and they have equipped your family to charge on ahead! I was the opposite and more than happy to leave EI behind and we now have a fantastic team supporting Coop and each of of them believe in his ability unlike our EI people. Bron xx ps go boys go!!!!

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  3. Both Kendryk and Asher being of school age and "consultation" only through the school boards, now qualify for extended out of school OT, PT, and SLP if needed through AT Home you only need to get a form filled out once school finally starts by the consulting school based therapist's. I think the yearly amount is $3800. The form was in our intro package from At home!

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