Our Early Intervention program has become our new life but it actually has multiple meanings for me. The program can be taken literally- we have services intervening early in her life to work with her on her hearing and speech. It has also been an intervention for me as well. Through NY Presbyterian we were introduced to The Clarke School- an early intervention program and preschool for children who are deaf and hard of hearing. My intervention was for my sanity and emotional state. Granted, I’ve cried again like 4x today but honestly I do feel better.
My emotional early intervention began when I met our services coordinator. She is the most soothing, loving, nurturing person I have ever met. After 10 minutes with her I realized that she is in our lives for a reason. She joined the Clarke team b/c her daughter has sensory neural hearing loss and attended the school. So instantly I had a friend in this journey that had experienced something like I was. She had stayed up nights struggling to come to grips with the fears and challenges her daughter faced. She struggled with breastfeeding and waiting rooms, and tests and doctors. She gets me. Being introduced to the rest of the team and being in that space gave me peace. The speech therapists, the receptionist, the group leaders, the director – all of them are kind, loving, understanding, problem solvers. In just a short week I feel like I have a clear path for her hearing and speech. I have a team of advocates for Landon now. A team of cheerleaders who were so happy to meet her and knew all about her before we’d even met. I love these people.
For our little girl, Early Intervention means speech therapy twice a week and parent/child therapy once a week. It’s a lot of work for a teeny little baby but I’m learning how to interact with her, songs to sing, sounds to make, toys to buy. Being there makes me feel whole. So I will go as many times as they will have me.
Her hearing aid is also ordered and expedited – which is simply incredible as it was going to take a long time but Clarke just makes shit happen. They have special powers I’m convinced. This morning we did our first therapy session and parent/child group session. I met other mothers who have faced similar struggles and babies with their little baha hearing aids and softbands. Precious little one year olds who are making sounds and talking some and loving life completely. The room gave me hope and strength. It gave me resolve. On 3.5 hours of sleep, I didn’t feel tired while I was in there.
I’d never heard of early intervention, but somehow and some day I will give back to other mothers via early intervention. It’s changed everything. I am so grateful.
Clarke was literally founded in 1867. How fascinating is that?