#4 (Evaluation Struggles/Insecurities)

Early Intervention came to do Finn’s evaluation on Wednesday morning. For anyone not familiar with EI, it is a free program that comes to your house and helps evaluate and then work with kids who qualify. Kids can qualify for all types of reasons from low birth weight to low income to autism to all types of other things. One of the reasons Finn will go to another program on top of EI is that they really work with all types of developmental issues where Finn’s is pretty specific and needs substantial intervention.

Anyway, so they come to the house, a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) and an Orthopedic Therapist (OT) to evaluate Finn in all areas to see if he qualifies. Finn’s deafness automatically qualifies him, but they have to eval all the kids anyway. So they were here for about an hour and a half and when they left I was in such a bad mood. I was irked and I couldn’t figure out why. We have been to so many doctor’s visits and I have spoken to so many experts and usually I am feeling like we are moving forward and happy to have more information. I could not figure out why I was feeling so annoyed. The SLP was very informative and the OT was great- you could tell she just LOVED babies- so what was my problem?

I think it boils down to my Hermione Granger personality- for you non-Harry Potter fans (shame on you for missing out on the best book series ever written), she is a character who, in crisis, is comforted by books and research and who is a bit of a know-it-all and does not take criticism well. I know you are all thinking no, Katie, you are NOTHING like that, but it’s true (haha).

While the Audiologist, ENT, and others focused on Finn’s hearing loss, these two were looking at him on a whole as a baby. They checked his total development (not just hear), analyzed it, and reported back their findings with suggestions. Therein lies the problem. They would go over different areas of development and make suggestions saying things like he needs to strengthen his neck and suggested Tummy Time or to make sure as he grew I didn’t just sit him in front of a TV. I would usually reply with a: “Oh yes, of course!” But in my head I was yelling “No kidding! Do I look like an idiot?! Do these people really think I don’t know basic parenting techniques!? Do they see the 4 year old I have successfully raised! Do they think Finn is behind in his development because I am not doing a 1000% PERFECT FRIGGEN JOB AT ALL TIMES!” 

Ok, I get a little carried away in my head sometimes (think JD from Scrubs). The good thing about this is that I’m aware of this perfectionist/controlling personality trait that seems to reach a crescendo when it comes to parenting (oh, and teaching, as any of my colleagues who have had me on their team can attest to, love you guys!). I am also aware that these professionals are just doing their job and trying to HELP me, not judge me. So even though I might get a bit worked up in my head, I need to be able to take the input they give me- whether I already knew it or not- and realize that they, like me, are just trying to do everything possible to make sure Finn develops into a happy, healthy kid. I know that deep down inside, I just need to remind myself of that in the moment.

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2 Responses to #4 (Evaluation Struggles/Insecurities)

  1. Terry says:

    I totally understand….I get a little sensitive when it comes to people questioning my parenting techniques…..especially the ones that dont have kids of their own…..and we have 2 EI specialists and an OT coming to our house!!! What I find has helped is that I remind myself that they are fortunate enough to be able to see the situation from a different perspective…..sometimes as the parent you are too involved and unable to take that necessary step back in order to have a different view….so I listen to what they have to say….and sometimes I ask for a different idea because although theirs may sound great….I know I can’t pull it off in our current state (taking Ryleigh to school, soccer, guitar, playdates and providing age appropriate activities with A & M while Ryleigh is in school and can’t take over). I look at it this way….their job is to teach me what they know and I may not….and my job is to help them see that in theory the ideas are great, but putting them into practice is a lot harder than it looks!!!!

  2. jeannie nadeau says:

    I can identify with you Katie, cause having been on the receiving end of professional ‘help’ it takes a lot wisdom to ask and observe before advising. Isn’t it good to get this stuff off your chest! Much affirmation from Auntie jeannie

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