Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A milestone for Miss Z .....

So,you know those pesky IEP's and the goals that we must painstakingly put into place,or rather the therapists put into place and we,or maybe it is just me,nod our heads in passive agreement?The truth be told and cover your eyes my therapists friends reading this:I don't much care for goal setting.Never have.Cannot exactly articulate what I don't like about them but I just don't like them."Zoey will purposefully put her hands together and place them under water and wash her hands 3 out of 5 times upon attempting." Okay,I totally just made that one up but those of you who have sat round table during IEP's know exactly what I am talking about,don't you?And,if you have a child like mine,who is delayed in multiple areas,setting goals becomes an over whelming task.I want to sometimes just blurt out,"Hey,how about the fact she is here,alive and smiling,for a big enough goal mastered already."

We just recently had our CCS major pow-wow.A room filled to overflowing with about 10 doctor's,therapists and staff personnel.All butting,oh did I just say that?I mean putting their heads together trying to figure out what will be the next plan of attack.I agreed with some.Absolutely disagreed with others.Please people,can we cross off mastering "assisting with dressing and undressing"?I know this is a "life skill" and all but how about,just for kicks,everyone who thinks we should start with that goal .... plop yourself down on your bottom,tie your one hand behind your back and for that matter,restrict the corresponding leg,add vision loss in both eyes, no pincer grasp whatsoever and finally,try operating under some cognitive impairment and lets see how realistic that goal is.I'm just saying.

One goal that we have added and added and added,over and over and over again,is:Working with Zoey to place,not hurl across the room,an object,in conjunction with handing said object, opposed to flinging said object, wildly at you,necessitating in you having to do a quick duck and cover move.

We have been out of Early intervention since March and on the down low,I have not been particularly great about working on "stuff" with Zoey.Forget about daily,how about weekly.Reminiscent of by gone therapy sessions days, where your therapist leaves,she gives you homework,you swear you will diligently follow through,only to have her back the next week, she takes one look at your child and so knows you did diddly squat,all week.So as you can imagine, having been cut loose from IE,I have just honestly cherished the time with my girl.I recently had a good friend say that I was doing my little love a disservice by not pursuing some of the therapies that I really,in my heart of heart know she needs.Desperately probably.And you know,she is right but honestly,I just have not had it in me.I mentioned to her new PT,that I have had to watch her work and work and work, for so long,practically all of her little life and I hate,in some moments,to have her work any harder.Period.I hate to see her frustrated and cry and be sad and look at me as if to say,"save me".So I'd rather take her to Target and Starbuck's and Trader Joe's and out for walks,watch her favorite shows and let that be that.But I won't,at least not for much longer, because Zoey needs more and tells us,in her own way,that she wants more.All this is an on going saga,more to follow at another time but back to the milestone.The IEP goal that had proven elusive,when all of the sudden,out of the blue, one morning,I asked her for a block and she handed it to me.Then I asked her to put it in the jar and she did it.Over and over.And I cried.

*pause the blog music at the bottom of the page if you are going to watch.And,my absolute favorite part of the video is when Zoey takes a swipe at Jake when he tries to look in the cookie jar.I know I shouldn't laugh but I can't help it.That is my feisty, attitude filled girl and you gotta love her!

34 comments:

Cathy said...

I have been following your blog for ages now and think you are a wonderful Mom to a beautiful little girl. I have had the same feelings about therapy and also do not do as much as I used to or should do. I think it goes in cycles and right now I just want to be Bella's mom and not her therapist. Of course when we play I play with her in a 'educational' way but I dont have formal homework sessions anymore. I am sure I will again but think that she needs me as JUST a mom right now. Enjoy your little love...
LOL Cath

Angi said...

I can't say I would be much for therapy either...even knowing that it "should" be done...I really think she gets more in different ways from going places, seeing people and watching those adoring big brothers of hers!

Did I tell you there is the cutest little baby at my kids school (daycare), she is 9 months old, post heart surgery and gives the BIGGEST SMILES!!

Anonymous said...

Good job Miss "Z"! and good patience and helpfulness from your brothers Joe & Jake!

Bluebelle

stephanie said...

great post !! i have to admit, that I always forget what the heck the goals were that were set for Em! It's always a surprise to me every six months!! i don't loose any sleep over it... yet!! I know once she gets into the school system I will most likely be on Valium.

and could I possibly just have Jake and Joe!! Just for a while??

And Miss Em is going to watch this video. we've been trying to get her to release anything into a bucket for over a year! She has a white knuckle grip on everything.

Gracesmommy said...

Great job Zoey! Such a beautiful thing to see her doing so well!!!

Rochelle said...

Heather, you crack me up!

YAHOO! Zoey for this awesome milestone. Sweet video!

Shelly Turpin said...

You know I'm guilty of not doing all of my homework either. I finally told ECI that is why I need someone to come to my house every week, so it happens. There is so much more to life. Yesterday I went to the funeral of a 4 year old little girl. So with that background, I say does it matter? If she's loved and cared for and knows that. If she is developing and growing, why push it? As you say so often, she'll set the pace. The rest of us just get to come along and enjoy the journey. :) my $0.02

The VW's said...

Great job Miss Zoey!!! You are an amazing girl! I am so proud of you sweet girl!

My favorite part of the video is Zoey fixing her hair! :) How precious! Hugs!!!

mandd3 said...

I love this video. That is Miss Zoey telling you not to worry, she's gonna get there. I hate the goal setting too. Only I put stuff like this down, "To aid in the pregression of gross motor skills as muscle tone allows". It drives the ECI people crazy. But I'm with you, I could care less whether he rolls a ball at 1. 5, or 20. When he can, he will. Period. I am curious to know what clues Zoey has given you that she is ready for more. We are no where near that but I always look to you moms with older ones to know what is on the horizon.

just jean said...

OH my gosh! I so loved this post! I'm very familiar with IEP goals and I've sometimes conferred with my colleagues when they are writing them, so I know exactly what you mean! But, what an accomplishment for Zoey!! She is such a smart girl!
I love starting my day with inspirational tears in my eyes!

Jean

Bea Braun said...

That is some beautiful "work"! What a lovely relationship those 3 have. Jake and Joe are awesome brothers and Zoey is teaching them to be amazing fathers!

heidi marie said...

hi,

just letting everyone on my bloglist now that i have a new site now- http://mylittlecheekymonkeys.blogspot.com/. the site henry's mommie will no longer be in use. everything has been transferred over to my new site!! hope to see you there.

and way to go zoey! i think you have the best attitude. we need to be mom's first, therapists always second.

heidi

Lacey said...

OK, Ray text me at 7 this morning. All I saw was Zoey, so I kind of freaked out thinking that something had happened! I read the text and it says. Go read Heathers blog, Zoey and the boys are so cute! Seriously, you had to text me at 7 in the morning for that!
Oh and I had to laugh because Joe and Carter are so similar. Carter never has a shirt on! The kid would sleep naked if I'd let him!

Reagan Leigh said...

That video was great! I love seeing Zoey in action. It really is amazing how far she's come. She really understands everything you tell her. And what a little pistol. When she learns how to walk (which she WILL), you are SO going to have your hands full!!!

Melani said...

You are the best advocate for your daughter, period.

I love the video~ I need to watch it again at nap time!

Sewconsult said...

Your boys are so good with Zoey. When I was in college & we had to make goals for our lesson plans. I didn't like them then & they still are ridiculous, especially the exacting statements. I think you're doing a great job. I admire you.
Beckie in Brentwood, TN

Tina said...

That is a truely big milestone, I know nobody without a child with special needs would actually think so, but it is.

I have been trying to get Saira to just hand over something to me instead of chucking in half way across the room, and funnily enough just day before yesterday she was actually trying to give me something and I kept looking at her not realising she wanted me to take it...suddenly a light went off in my head and I was so thrilled. Such a small little thing but yet such a great big milestone.

p.s. She hasn't actually been handing things me after that again, still seems more comfortable with chucking

Jeana said...

Good job girl! I can totally relate to the therapy thing. Kaelyn finally has mastered rolling and can roll all over the place and now her therapist is saying she would rather see her scooting...and I say, by dang girl Roll, you worked so hard to master it, live it up.

Bethany said...

Awesome!!! Zoey is doing amazing, and I love how she follows directions both verbally and in sign. I have to say the best part is how she knows just how to fix her hair so it is not in her eyes. :)
All children learn through exposure to the environment, through daily experiences, and through engagement with others and play. Zoey is no different. Don't feel badly for not making it all therapy all the time. She needs time to just be a kid, and I am saying that as a former EC sped teacher.

Elizabeth said...

Wonderful. I think Sophie has "worked" on putting objects "into" for about fifteen years. It drives me nuts. It's always good to hear, though, of an IEP goal reached.

Blessings to you and congrats to Zoe!

Judy said...

When Bo was a baby, we had pt, ot, infant stim and junior blind foundation coming out weekly. When all of that started winding down and we were ready to start dealing with the school district, I took a giant step back and just let him be a toddler for a while. I was so sick of the endless Dr's appts, therapy,evaluations, etc. You just want to cherish their childhood and let them be free from their demanding schedules of constant pushing (even though you know it's needed). I SO get that...we still struggle with it :(
You are an amazing mom and remember that you know Zoey more than any of those therapists, Dr's, educators, etc.
Lots of love and hugs to you all!!

betsy said...

love reading about Zoey! and just fyi, therapists are taught to expect parents to do less than 10% of the "homework" as a general rule. we are just plain too busy. and also, research has shown that kids NEED to have a separation between school and home, and your home shouldn't be turned into a therapy center. She will learn plenty just by trying to keep up with Jake and Joe. Heck, look at how they stopped themselves from doing FOR her! That is soooo hard for me, and they are champs at it! She is AMAZING! hugs all around!

Peter Olson said...

Adorable!

a mother and a teacher said...

As a teacher I couldn't agree with you more. I think we overdo it in general, but I also think we "over-therapy" a lot of our special needs kiddos. Yes there is definitely a time and a place for therapy and learning, but they also learn so much through just plain old living (that goes for all kids). So many kids I teach have never been to the beach, they've never had their parents read to them for fun, they have no life expereinces. I'm a big fan of life experiences. I think they can learn more (whether they have special needs or not) through life experiences than any kind of formal learning. Of course I'm one of the few teachers that could care less if her son knows his letters before kindergarten. I've been following for a long time now, and I've seen amazing progress in Zoey. You are a great mom and you are doing what is best for her right now. Keep it up :)

Googsmom said...

Life is the BEST therapy!! IMHO ;)
That video is precious. WTG Zoey!
I love Zoey {{{{HUGS}}}}

Anonymous said...

The Princess has achieved so many milestones as I have followed this blog. I am so proud of her and Team Needham! Miss Zoey is making great progress. Just flip back through your blog and you'll be able to show the therapists just what she has achieved.

Christy Pinuelas

Melissa M said...

Go Zoey! I love her fixing her hair in the video.

We've been taking a little therapy break post surgery, I've loved not feeling pressured to "do" things with Claire all the time!

Kele@ said...

Makes me cry too H!
So beautiful, I know I say that in every single post, it truly isn't cuz I don't know what else to say, it is just absolutely the first and most present thing in my mind when I watch Z, she is so amazingly beautiful!
Miss you, hope you got my message tonight! Need to talk soon!

Victoria Strong said...

I don't know if any of us ever feel we do "enough". I know I certainly don't. And while therapy is certainly important, I also believe its okay to have days of just being a kid. Others may not agree and, of course, there are always things that have to be done...but sometimes...well, it's nice for everyone to just take a break. And there's nothing better than Mommy Dates to Starbucks :)

Anonymous said...

Heather and Mark, you have always managed therapy and down time so perfectly. Goals are for the administrators to justify their jobs and get the $ from government to keep schools open. As an EI, I couldn't agree with you more! I can't see the video. Zoey has always done things on her own time. The best therapy for her is being with all of you and your friends. I've always believed that, but loved my job too. When Zoey does things, even looks at us a certain way we laugh and/or cry. This is Zoey, and God gave her to you. What a gift, that's all I can say! To heck with all the gobblety gook. Love you all, and I probably should remain anonymous due to fear of losing my job, signed the Rebel and I hope you know who it is (I have three kitties). :)

tish said...

Jake and Joe are so adorable with my girl!! :) They are two wonderfully interactive and helpful young boys!!

And Zoey is a gift that makes everyone around her become better people.

Love to all the Needhams!

Just Another Ordinary Miracle said...

Preachin' to the choir sister...i'm just sayin.

Our no less than 20 member 'team' gets a little hairy during those IEP's. especially when it comes to our deafblind multiply disabled daughter who has no one in Georgia specifically trained to work with her in school... Im just sayin' again.

Oh, and that's where the beautiful blonde in one of our previous posts will come into play - i hope - more on that later. However, she will be out in Utah over the next year in grad school, but for now, she is living in my basement...

Oh, and that therapy thing. Really? Did you know that you really are my kindred spirit. We've been there, left there, and have no intention to go back .. the life of living around a therapy session ended over a year ago (funny - when Ivey was the exact same as that Zoey is now). Maybe we have our limits. A little too much alike maybe? Good thing you are across the country - Georgia couldn't handle another mom thinking that 'therapy' was gonna fix it :) Again, just sayin. But instead - that is where my Ivey's League started. You need to let me tell you about that. I can envision you liking this idea and doing what we are doing. Ivey has a life to live and its not in the therapy room - course there are plenty who would turn me in for neglect over that statement.

Okay so catching up. Been gone for a couple of weeks , now trying to get my self organized again.

Just Another Ordinary Miracle said...

Seriously you do not have to publish that last comment. Some one may hunt me down for not LOVing therapy and putting my foot down about it. Now therapy is scheduled into our life - not the other way around.

But - we are probably heading out to NV in October and I'll be heading out toward Utah in the fall/winter.. what are the chances?

Anonymous said...

Love how Joe started singing straight away...
She is awesome...miss seeing you guys!