We're in the process of reviewing Millie's Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), when we work with the school district to identify goals for the coming year.
Part of that process is to very specifically go through her routine, from getting her up in the morning to putting her down at bedtime. By doing this, her "team" helps me identify struggles that I perhaps hadn't previously considered.
I remember last year, going through the minute details, such as how we dressed her, how we fed her, when we fed her, how often we fed her, etc.
It's intimidating! You lay out all your parenting choices before someone else, a professional, and wait for them to make recommendations for improvements.
Today, I did it again, as we prepare to revise her IFSP. This time, a little comfortable with the people and the process, I wasn't as nervous or anything, but I still felt so naked, laying out in front of them the ways we do struggle with Millie and how we try to cope.
Obviously, the big focus for us, for her, is communication. But there are other areas that we'd like to address as well.
For example, I've been struggling a lot with Millie at mealtimes. I don't know if she is just simply stating her independence or if it a communication breakdown but she refuses to eat what I give her. Constantly.
So I'm explaining this, in great detail, to her team today, but at one point, I realized this is a great problem to have!
At this time last year, the poor kid only was able to consume thickened milk, that chalky, icky thickened milk.
At least now I'm able to give her options! Sure, she rejects about 90 percent of them, but at least they're even a possibility!
As we continue to talk this out, we're also focusing a lot on her communication skills (verbalization and signing), and I realized, too, that she really is doing quite great in this area as well.
No, she's not really speaking a lot of "real" words, but she's able to express to us most of what she wants and needs. Yeah, it might take me 5-7 minutes to get there, but I (usually) do.
And that's wonderful.
Last year, I was, quite honestly, in the dark, just guessing. Now, I have direction!
So, yeah, as we look forward, we can always find room for improvement (this goes for everyone, from the dumb dog to Lola to myself), but perspective is always good.
We've all come a long ways in 12 months.
Perhaps most of all, Millie.
And that makes me happy.
- Bethany :)