Tuesday, January 8, 2013

"The Look"

It was April 2005.  Matthew was almost 9 months old.  I had called "Early Intervention" to come evaluate Matthew because he was not yet sitting and our pediatrician said that he was now out of the range of normal for that milestone.

Two evaluators, a physical therapist and a teacher came to take a look at Matthew's gross motor skills.  In our family room, they held him upside down trying to evaluate his protective reflexes.  They tried to get him moving, crawling, sitting, to no avail.  It was plain to see my baby was bombing this test.  
They told me there on the spot that he would qualify for PT (physical therapy) twice a week.  No, I was not surprised.  All my friends' babies the same age were pulling to a stand and cruising.  Matthew was just starting to roll around  So - this is great, right?  They will make him walk and then he'll be all caught up.  

So, I ask, "how long does PT last?".  
The response is "the sessions are 45 minutes long."  
"No," I reply, "I mean, for how long will Matthew get the PT services?"

(In my mind, PT is something that lasts for about 6 weeks.  My experience with PT thus far in life has been to help with a sports injury - and after about 6 weeks, I was healed.)

I clearly expected there to be some sort of cut and dry answer such as "we'll have him walking by Christmas," or "about 3 months should do it".   So that's when it happened, the 2 evaluators gave each other a look that may have only lasted 2 seconds, but so much was communicated in that look.  
One of them kindly answered, "Usually, children who receive PT or any services through early intervention will receive that service until they age out of the program at 3 years old."
"Oh - not my son - he's going to be a lacrosse player or hockey player - he won't need PT for that long," I silently thought and believed. 
But there was a small part of me that recognized that 2 second look between these evaluators that said "this mom does NOT get it".  They were so right, I didn't get it.  And it took me a long time to get it. 

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