Wednesday, August 11, 2010

all in a days work

My current official job title is Early Intervention Specialist/Service Coordinator. In a nut shell I "coordinate services" for babies, ages birth to 3, who are born with developmental delays and/or disorders. The routine of my job usually sounds like this: I receive a referral from a family or pediatrician or hospital, and lets just say the referral concern is speech/language. I call the family, tell them about our program, gather the child's birth/medical history and have the parent explain to me specifically what their concerns are at this very moment. Mom will usually tell me her child will be 2 soon and isn't really talking. He is grunting, screaming and speaking in "jibberish" in order to communicate. I'll ask mom how he lets her know he wants something, such as his milk and mom will say "well he grabs my hand and pulls me to the kitchen." i then will ask mom if his hearing has been formally checked and she will normally say "yes his pediatrician has checked it and isn't concern" which lead me to say "most pediatricians cannot do a formal hearing exam in their office" has he been to an ENT or Audiologist? Mom then answers "no."  I then ask mom, has he had any ear infections, if so how many? Then I will ask what is something he does, that lets you know he can actually hear well. Does he dance to music? Does he run to the door when someone is knocking, does he point to the phone when it is ringing, does he cry when you drop pots & pans, does he hear a fire truck go by? ETC. After the whole hearing conversation has been had I explain to mom that a lot of times children aren't talking because they simply are unable to hear the sounds we as adults are making. And we have no clue how or what they are hearing unless a formal hearing exam has been made.  After going through the rest of the "intake" call and talking to her about language development and how at the age of 2 her son should have between 50 to 100 single words, starting to point/name body parts and follow two step directions ex. go to your room and bring daddy your shoes...not just "go get your shoes" but first go to your room and then bring daddy your shoes.  At this point I will let mom know that based on the concerns I will be scheduling with a speech therapist and a developmental specialist and call her back with our first available time to complete a comprehensive evaluation. I then will leave messages with several people in order to find the family the best time for us to come out to their home, and to make sure we dont interrupt nap schedules, feeding times, parents work schedule etc. all hoping that we somehow can get a 2 hour evaluation done between 8AM-4PM.  10:30 is a very popular time for toddlers to be up. after that its lunch, then nap then its time for mom to go pick up the oldest at school.

All of that is a very small portion of what I do monday thru friday, but it is always a start of a new relationship with a family. Another aspect of my job is providing the family with any other  resources if necessary. For instance some popular "needs" i hear most often is: potty training suggestions, pediatrician recommendations/list, daycare or childcare options, behavior concerns such as "my two year old wont sleep in his own bed," or another somewhat popular one is insurance coverage, which always leaves me scratching my head, and now searching my heart.

Thankfully, Ive always had some sort of medical insurance coverage, meaning i have no clue what life would be like with out it. In a way that makes me spoiled, but I also like to think it makes be blessed. I've never thought twice about needing to go the doctor because "I got insurance." For awhile, I selfishly could never grasp the concept of why someone wouldnt' have insurance. I would find myself getting really annoyed when families would ask me how to get free coverage for the child or for their themselves. In all honesty, my first though would be "umm get a job." Now believe me I would NEVER say this to a family, but i assure you I would think it and I have definitely started feeling the Lord softening my heart in this area and showing me a different perspective from the eyes of my families I work with everyday.

I hear a lot of controversy on the whole "Health Care Plan" ordeal, i'm not a very big political person if you will,  all i know is to pray for our country's leader that he will follow the Lord's will in leading our country and thats what I try to do. I dont really care if he supposedly doesnt have a real birth certificate, what his beliefs are, where he came from etc because I believe in a God who doesnt' believe in surprises.   I'm pretty sure the Lord wasn't shocked when our latest president won the election. Anyway, off topic. At first, I was unsure of the  health care plan idea and the fact that just because I work and i have a job and i pay for my own insurance means i have to pay for someone who basically isnt working and will get free health care as they sit at home. Sounds terrible doesnt it, (that I would think like that)?  I now believe that the Lord has been showing me that it doesnt matter if I make millions a year or 5 dollars a year my money...isnt my money.  I dont have this job and a salary because "im so awesome" i have this job because the Lord blessed me with it and has put me in this job to better serve him. My money is his money, HE is the reason I have a job and that I have any money in my bank account, so why should I be so selfish to think I dont have to help someone else pay for anything such as... health care? The lord has given me the opportunity, the strength, and the knowledge to have the job i currently have... Now, like i said im not some big political freak, and i dont even really know whats going on in the white house but I do know what the Lord places in my heart and so I thought I would share. =) I am becoming more and more sympathetic with families whenever they begin to question me about needing insurance coverage....and more and more apathetic when it comes to politics.

next post: pregnancy update!)

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