A year ago, Roman was going through evaluations for Early On. Early on is a federally funded program here in Michigan for children 0 to 3 years old showing developmental delays. My friends and mother urged me to call them. At the time, I was just beginning to have the slightest feeling something was off with Roman.
The evaluations in his Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) blew me away. And not in a good way. Roman was just two and his developmental ages were ranging from 0 to 20 months, the latter being only in one category, object manipulation. The biggest delay was in communication. Roman’s scores in comprehension had him at a level equivalent to a 5 month old. In expression, he scored just a slight bit higher, at the level of a 6 month old. It was noted that he had inconsistent language skills in the 0-6 month old range.
His cognitive, or problem solving, skills were also delayed. In that area, he scored at 15.5-18 months in ability. Fine motor skills scores ranged from 14-16 months. The scoring went on. It was all the same. There was not a single category where he scored at at age level.
In summation, his evaluation reported:
Roman demonstrates delays in most areas of his development, He also presents sensory processing difficulties. These delays make it difficult for Roman to get his needs met and impacts his ability to interact with the objects and people in his environment.
How does a parent process that information? I’ll tell you how I did. First, I cried. Then, I called my mom and Ginamom both. They helped me develop a new, better, outlook. We had a starting position. It could only get better from there. I could either do nothing and feel sorry for myself, which would not help Roman at all, or I could jump into Roman’s education head first and tackle the problems the best I knew how.
I learned everything I could about autism. I read blogs just like this one for personal stories of triumph. I found peace. Then, as a family, we dove in to the problem and determined to make the best of it. We would use every single resource we had and we would help Roman overcome his delays. So far, it’s working.