My name is Lindsey. As we begin to plan our son Owen’s fourth birthday, I cannot help but to reflect on the journey. We learned prenatally that Owen had two genetic abnormalities. He spent more than 100 days in the Tacoma General Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and immediately began early intervention services. I miss the community and support we were given (especially as we endure this pandemic) and I am also aware that I have the skills and confidence in our parenting because of the support we received early on.
What reflections would you like to share with other families?
Early intervention catches most of us during a time of huge transition and physical and emotional exhaustion. My advice to parents currently receiving services is to make it work for you and your child. Ask for what you need. Even if what you need does not seem like something they can help you with – you may be surprised. Take advantage of the services. Remember, on the days where you cannot possibly endure one more virtual appointment, say no. A big takeaway I had with early intervention was learning to advocate and set boundaries for our family.
These times are hard for all of us. Families with children who need extra support are faced with many “risk vs. reward” decisions every day. It is not easy and you are not alone.