Thursday, October 8, 2009

IFSP Annual Review

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.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday Matthew!

2nd birthday cake
We celebrated Matthew's birthday yesterday with Bill's parents here, my parents on the webcam, a neighbor, a birthday balloon, cake, lasagna, jambalaya, sandwiches, and presents. Unfortunately, the rest of the family (Matthew's uncles, aunts and cousins) couldn't make it as they all had gotten sick recently and decided to play it safe by not coming rather than risk sharing the germs with Matthew and I (and #2). So we'll just have another birthday celebration with them when everyone is better.

blowing out candles

Matthew has yet to touch so many people's lives in the many years to come! And you definitely have an important role in this mission! YOU and Bill are just the perfect parents for Matthew. God never makes mistakes!

These were my aunt's words of support, comfort, and reassurance when we welcomed Matthew into our lives. I still get teary-eyed (tears of happiness) when I remember what she said. The weepiness comes more quickly these days with these crazy pregnancy hormones.

How wise her words! How true they ring! We are so grateful to have Matthew in our lives and can't imagine life without him.

Messages to Matthew
I got this idea from The Signing Mom. It's called "Messages to Baby" but I've renamed it "Messages to Matthew", for our purposes. I encourage everyone to write special notes for Matthew. I will save the messages in a box or special notebook for him to read when he gets older.

Here are some ideas to begin messages:
My hopes and dreams for you are...
How you've touched my life...
What I like about you...
I love you because...

Thank you very much for your birthday greetings and wishes for Matthew.