I can barely remember all of the early intervention process. I know that after the return home from the hospital and subsequent doctors’ visits there was mention from our pediatrician that we should contact an agency called Florida Diagnostic Learning Resource System or FDLRS (http://www.fdlrs.org/). This was my introduction to the maze of educational acronyms. We were contacted and a woman came to our home and did a number of developmental tests on my son, then informed me that he was eligible for services that would help him recover the skills lost due to the illness and extended hospital stay.
At this period in the process, I know I was still reeling from the shock of everything that had happened and still dependent and trusting of anything and everything I was told by professionals. Oddly enough the person from FDLRS who made the home visit and staffed my son eligible under Part H which is now Part C (http://nichcy.org/babies) later became the special education director for Collier county and we worked together until she retired.
The next step was another visit to what they called an early intervention provider. I listened to what they said, shook my head and signed a myriad of paperwork they called a support plan (http://nichcy.org/babies/ifsp). The name of the provider was Step by Step and the therapy room I took my son to was located in the basement of a local church. Being the primary caregiver, I took my son to the therapies and reinforced what they did at home. I learned about W sitting and how to isolate an index finger using a pill bottle and a cheerio and how to build core strength. I would like to point out that all this took place prior to the internet and computers becoming common household things. Information was not readily available and harder to come by. During this period, working with the providers, my son made steady progress in closing the developmental gaps. (http://nichcy.org/disability/milestones)
I felt isolated and alone during this period but did begin to see other parents in passing when I would take my son to the therapies, but remaining strong in my role as manly man, I didn’t feel we needed outside support or help and was sure that I could fix things if I just gave it time.