We met with Macy's "team" on Friday to discuss her IFSP. (Individualized Family Service Plan). Shortly before the morning meeting, my sister Heather magically appeared and swept McKenzie away...off to her house to play. I did not ask her to do this, but it actually worked out quite well that Kenzie was not here. It was not the "fun", "playin' with Macy" type of appointment as usual. This one was more of a "meeting", a very important meeting. boring! :-(
So, thanks Aunt Heather!!! :-) As a result, Joe and I could really think and talk. Anyone who has a three year old, understands how demanding of one's attention they can be!
We reviewed where we were when these gals first met Macy 6 months ago. We had so many questions about Down Syndrome and were so unsure as to what her immediate capabilities were going to be. We evaluated her progress and all the steps we have already taken. It is fascinating to look through their report and make note of all the progress Macy has made in the areas of, Vision, Hearing, Cognitive Thinking Skills, Communication skills, social behavior skills, fine motor skills and gross motor skills, etc... She has achieved all the goals we set for her. We are so proud of you Macy! Certainly something to feel good about and celebrate!
We have learned to continue to LOOK AHEAD. Set goals early, then, work hard on those goals WAY before we actually expect a skill to develop. So now, at this 6 month IFSP, we basically addressed concerns that we currently have regarding Macy's development and made a "wish list" of sorts noting the areas of which we'd like to see her improve. We set some aggressive goals for the next 6 months and with the help of our early intervention team, we are confident she/we will achieve all of these too. I am comfortable with how often our Physical, Occupational and speech therapists, and teacher will be visiting. Aside from the physical goals we had set, we are also beginning to put a little more emphasis on Macy's speech development. The simple fact that Macy is still nursing will pay big dividends in the area of speech, as she works her facial muscles so much more breastfeeding than if she were drinking from a bottle all the time. Makes every feeding so rewarding and that much more fullfilling for me :-)
McKenzie will also be included in all of these sessions, she is an "assistant teacher" of sorts...they will also help me teach her sign language. I have already started encouraging McKenzie to use the basic signs, but, each week, we will also dedicate a few minutes of Macy's Early Intervention time to McKenzie and talk about and learn about sign language. This will be SOOO helpful, not to mention fun for her :-)
I am really looking forward to the months ahead and focusing on these areas. one. step. at. a. time!
Below are some pictures taken when Macy was about 3 months old.
Last week we went over to my friend Kalynn's house...she has a young girl, cutie-pie Janessa, who also has Down Syndrome. Her EI team gave her the idea to hang a mirror close to the ground, on a wall in her family room. She said that Janessa just LOVES this exciting feature. That was apparent by the many finger prints on it...tehe...who needs a big screen HD TV, when all a kiddo needs is her own reflection to be entertained by? I am inspired and may find a location to hang our own mirror entertainment system :-)
Also, my friend Tracy (who has a beautiful 2 year old named Bella who also has DS) attended the National Down Syndrome Conference in Disney World last week. She shared with me a few tips and exercises she had learned while there that applied to babies that are Macy's age. Thanks for sharing some of these new learned tricks Tracy!
Just another reason, I am grateful and so thankful for my amazing support system of "DS Supermom's". Our mom's group is having another "meeting of the minds/playdate" next week at Jamie's house...