Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Early Intervention Perfection

Just look at the way he looks at her with so much love in his eyes! Picture perfect!!

I've mentioned many times about what a wonderful resource I think Early Childhood Intervention is and can be. It has been a pivotal piece of the puzzle for us when it comes to helping the Beast, and really all of my four youngest children. The backbone behind a successful ECI experience is the service coordinator, the person who oversees all of the child's services.

We've had Jo since the Beast was just weeks old. We're very attached to her, and I'd like to think she's at least a little bit fond of us. I remember when the Beast turned three and aged out of services feeling like I'd lost a part of our family in a way. Jo was with us through all of the amazing and wonderful moments in the Beast's first three years. On the same token, she was with us holding our hands and drying our tears when things were at the lowest lows.

When Snort started having vision problems, Jo was the first person we called. I knew we needed ECI, and I wouldn't settle for any service coordinator but her. I know for a fact that she truly is one of the best in the country at what she does, and I always go out of my way to provide my children only the best. (And, I think she's about the best thing for me I can think of, too.) Just like with the Beast, she has been with us for all of Snorts highs and lows. And Pretty's. And now, she's with us while we work with Little Guy.
To understand why we love Jo so much, you really have to see the way my children look at her. It's like her heart can talk to their hearts, and they know she's safe and sincere and that she won't ever let them down. When she pulls up, Pretty squeels with delight and runs to open the door as fast as she can. Not that anyone can understand a word that Pretty says, but she immediately starts jabbering away telling Jo all about the important things in her life. Snort lights up, starts kicking his legs, and sometimes even laughs out loud when he sees her. He waits for her to sit on the floor so he can immediately climb into her lap, stroke her cheeks, and lay his head on her shoulder. He needs her to give her at least ten hugs in the first two minutes.

My kids all have so much going for them. They all have so much hope in terms of what they can be and do in life. They also have their struggles laid out before them. Whether it be speech, hearing, vision, walking, sensory, or any other issue, we know Jo isn't going to let them down. She speaks up for them. She asks questions. She makes sure their mother isn't too far off her rocker.
Why do I put all this out there? Well, for one, I don't think people in Jo's profession get nearly the credit they deserve. "Thanks" isn't something they hear all that often. Secondly, I don't think Jo should be the exception. In an ideal world, Jo and her bond with my children and family could be the norm. Just imagine the success rate that could be with a family who's ECI service coordinator took the time to just know and love their families the way Jo has for us. Imagine what it would be like if parents everywhere could be as empowered as we were because of Jo's skills and her willingness to share them with us. Just imagine the songs that Deaf children everywhere can sing if the people helping them find their voices from so early on were half as dedicated as Jo is for my children. Just imagine...


  1. What a great thing! Our EI service provider is WONDERFUL and works with both of our boys. Our first speech therapist was not very good, but now we have an excellent, wonderful, amazing speech language pathologist who supports us and helps our children.

  2. Thats awesome to hear. I had a real struggle getting EI services, and its nice to hear that the system did work for some families. My son finally has a service coordinator, but since we've only seen her a few times, the jury is stil out. How you feel about Jo, though, is how we feel about our speech therapist Renee. We couldn't have done it without her. Thank goodness for all these special people looking out for not only our kids, but the parents as well! :)