In order to qualify for services, children need to meet specific criteria. That's necessary. I get that. No one wants to provide therapy to children who don't really need it, and we can't afford to treat everyone who is even a little delayed, so you set a criterion and treat the children who need it the most. It is practical and theoretically fair if the same criteria are applied to everyone.
However, when the system is set up in this way it causes stress and tension. Parents want therapy for their children and are nervous about qualifying. When the time comes for a new meeting, the parents are hesitant to celebrate their child's successes because they are afraid they may no longer qualify for services that are still very much needed.
So, instead, you focus on all of the areas in which your child still struggles. It makes the meetings more than a little depressing. And although early intervention can be a wonderful experience and resource for families (it is for us), the time frame for early intervention ends so early. Ava will have been in the early intervention program for only a little over a year and then she will age out.
Then you have to start the whole process over again with your local school district and their criteria are even harsher. At yesterday's IFSP meeting, our service coordinator mentioned that next month we will need to hold a transition meeting. The purpose of that meeting, as I understand it, is to introduce us to the school district people that will be handling evaluating Ava to see if she qualifies for their services when she turns three.
And so time, and the special education processess, marches on.
(more on how our IFSP meeting went tomorrow)