Help an EI. — The Bump
Special Needs

Help an EI.

Hi everyone. I have been lurking on this board for a long time and just wanted to know how amazed I am at each one of you. I am a Developmental Specialist in my state and work with families and their SNC.

So here's my question. What can I do to make things easier? Is there something your EI did that you loved? Something they did that you hated? I really try to be sensitive to parents and their children and their needs but am always eager to learn what I can do to be better for families and their children.

One of my main concerns is introducing equipment (standers, walkers, corner chairs, etc). I know this is a shock for  families and it is a hard adjustment. I had to recommend to a family that their child go ahead and get measured for a wheelchair before they aged out of our program so we could help fund it and they really yelled at me. (but they have done this with every piece of equipment, so I wasn't totally shocked). I went over pros and cons from top to bottom and all the benefits a chair would provide their child and they asked me to leave and not return. I feel terrible and never want this to happen again, so any advice you can offer me is more than welcome!

Re: Help an EI.

  • And I should add that I have been commended many times over about the way I present "big" equipment to families and how easy I make the transition. But this family is really mad that I would even suggest a wc for their child, who, from a developmental and mobility standpoint, really does need one. :( I'm at a loss.
  • You're so sweet to ask!

    I bet the hardest part of your job is dealing with parents that are in denial.  I know I would have a hard time accepting it if my child needed to be in a wheel chair.  I wonder if they felt like you were just giving up on the child's development.  (that is, of course, a view from someone who knows very little about the situation)  I think you handled the situation well but they weren't ready to hear it.  

    Personally I have a big problem with specialists that beat around the bush.  I want what is best for my son and sometimes I need help figuring out what that is.  My son's right hand has only 2 fingers and they are fused.  When our OT told me that he might not crawl because of the structure of his wrist I was crushed but I needed to hear that from her.  In other words, I think you're doing your job. Smile

    -D 

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  • Thank so much for all the answers! This little guys is almost three and about to age out of the program so I really want to get him in proper seating and give him the chance at mobility before I sign off on him. He is so bright and so funny and just a joy to be around but has a chromosome disorder and, at the moment, walking his not even close to being an option for him. We have taken him to a seating clinic and he did so awesome in a power chair! His mom was in tears to see him go and approach people and have his own sense of freedom. I think the reality of that being a necessity for her child was a shock though.

    They have always been so great about using his stander and his corner chair and other equip that I have gotten for them, but I think the wc is always a big shock to families.

    Thanks again for all your input! PLEASE let me know if there is ever something you loved or hated that one of your therpists did. It isn't often we get that kind of feedback from parents so sometimes it feels like we are working in the dark!

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