There was a paperwork issue between EI and Dr. Baby Doctor that led to our meeting being pushed out until Wednesday. Apparently, EI faxes some stuff to the pediatrician, who then provides the appropriate diagnostic code. Without that code, EI can't progress. Because Sunshine wasn't presenting with any major issues at her 18-month checkup, she has no existing diagnosis. EI faxed over the results of their evaluation so Dr. Baby Doctor was able to say, "Yes, that's a speech delay for sure."
So my kid now has a speech delay diagnosis, and now she is all better and we know what to do to help her.
What's that? That's not how a diagnosis works?
You don't say.
Sunshine's caseworker said that they're suggesting speech therapy once a week to start. We're also going to set up an OT (occupational therapy) evaluation to establish what her sensory issues are and set up a good sensory diet. This is just a starting point, and as her therapists see more behaviors (or fewer behaviors!) her therapies will be adjusted accordingly.
Whoa, whoa, back up! you say. A diet?
Yeah. Only not the kind you eat. A sensory diet is essentially a bunch of different activities and exercises to help V's nervous system regulate itself better. We're all taught that we have five senses- taste, touch, hearing, smell, and vision, but we actually have eight. The other, secret three are: interoceoption- the way stuff feels on the inside, like knowing if your stomach hurts or if you need to pee, proprioception- the feeling of pressure and movement in your joints and muscles, and vestibular- the feeling of balance and where your body is in relation to other things.
Kids whose nervous systems don't process all eight senses typically have a lot of problems adjusting to their environments and focusing. Some are hypersensitive- tags in shirts and seams in socks may feel like torture. Some are hyposensitive- they may seem to not notice pain or extreme temperatures. Some are sensory-seeking- they need more, more, more touch, taste, light, etc. Many people have a mix of two or more responses. Sunshine seems to be a mix of hyposensitive and sensory-seeking, I'm not sure, thus the OT eval.
I'm quite proud of myself for not freaking out, frankly. I've been very anxious and have been anticipating this appointment, and, for someone who doesn't cope well with sudden change, I think I'm taking it in stride. Today is just another day to enjoy my kids. Tomorrow will be just another day to enjoy my kids. Wednesday will be yet another day to enjoy my kids, and there happens to be a meeting in the middle of it. No big deal.
No big deal.