If Marketing has its 4 P's (Price, Product, Place, Promotion), I think Early Intervention should adhere to 4 P's too: Professional, Personable, Positive, Possibilities.
We enrolled in First Steps Early Intervention the day before we left the hospital. Physical Therapy (PT) and Developmental Therapy (DT), also known as Special Instruction, began when Matthew was a month old. We added Occupational Therapy (OT) when Matthew was almost 4 months old and Speech Therapy (ST) when Matthew was 9 months old. Matthew was so little and the thought of all these therapies on our baby, our first and only child nonetheless, was a very strange notion to us. But we knew it was necessary.
There are times when I'd be so overwhelmed and get frustrated with myself. Am I doing enough? It would feel like wading through waist-deep mud or sometimes running into a brick wall.
His therapists always reassure me that I am doing a wonderful job following through with activities/ exercises in between sessions and that it is normal to have ebbs and flows in Matthew's development, in any child's development. They encourage me to keep at it. They always guide me with helpful suggestions when addressing any concerns I may have. They celebrate Matthew's EVERY achievement with us. They believe in his capabilities.
I am fortunate and thankful that I get along with all four therapists who work with Matthew. They work as a team and communicate well with each other, which is just as important as them working and communicating well with me. As a team, they are Professional, Personable, Positive, and see Matthew's Possibilities.
Tonight, First Steps is hosting a dinner in honor of the therapists in our area. I had the opportunity to contribute a door prize. Since all the therapists in the area are women, I contributed a cute purse that is handmade out of a placemat. I bought it from my sister-in-law's long-time friend, who currently runs her own business called Stitches and Strings, specializing in handmade personalized gifts including baby gifts, placemat purses, bath towels, cosmetic bags, and keychains." The door prizes that First Steps receives will be distributed randomly. I'm hoping one of Matthew's therapists gets this Purse.
UPDATE as of 6/26/2009: I just found out that one of Matthew's therapists DID get this purse!