I met with Matthew's therapists and Early Intervention (EI) Service Coordinator today to review our IFSP (Individualized Family Service Plan). The IFSP was created as soon as we were in the EI program and met with the therapists and service coordinator. It is basically a written document listing and detailing the goals we set for Matthew, as well as the outcomes. Progress is documented at semi-annual and annual reviews until Matthew transitions out of the EI program and into a school at age 3.
It's hard to wrap my mind around the fact that he'll be starting school a year from today. Focusing on the goals we would like to achieve within the next 12 months seems easy and hard at the same time. Easy because focusing on a few specific things helps make life less overwhelming. Hard because there's a multitude of developmental milestones for a 2-year old.
On the one hand, I view the IFSP as a necessary tool. I find that with any long-term goal, it's best to have it on paper. It serves as a visual reminder of what we're working toward. It helps keeps our eye on the prize as it is easy to forget or get off track. The IFSP also details specific strategies to implement in order to achieve our goals. On the other hand, however, it's hard to think of everything we want him to achieve in the next 12 months. It's almost like trying to predict how many leaves a young tree will have in a year.
That said, I have to remember that the IFSP is not about predicting Matthew's progress. It's about taking steps towards what we believe he can achieve. And we believe he has endless possibilities.