Family Focused Report
The information for this family report was obtained from an interview with both parents on September 19, 2022.
1. Family characteristics
The family of 6 which also includes grandparents, has come from Greece several years ago. Parents are well educated parents, Sofia the mother is 30 years old and her Husband George 38 years old is a Dr. at NYU Langone. They both are working parents and they attend the house responsibilities together in whole.
2. Family interaction
Inside the home there is a lot of good calm interactions. As a family they are nurturing and always on top of things. They seem to always have great and healthy interactions with their children and with each other.
3. Family functions
The household is a 6-family household. Two children and grandparents.
Both in the school setting and at home, speech and occupational therapy are being suggested for the family. This will be carried out twice a week at home and three times a week at school. To be able to discuss their concerns and their progress at home and in school, the family will also need to take part in family therapy. This is crucial because the family must also look after the child and take care of themselves as a whole. Being in charge of a disabled child’s care can be stressful.
1. When was your child’s disability initially suspected?
Our child’s issue was noticed around 23 months old. We had taken our son John on a play date with some cousins. Our family noticed that our child was not playing in the same way as his cousins were. While they were playing the children were calling John. He would not respond to his name. Even though she was 13 months old, she was still unable to walk on her own. Which was noticeable after a while when they were calling him from far away or close by. This also happened several more times with the grandparents and also it was noticeable that the child couldn’t or wouldn’t keep eye contact if someone was trying to talk to him. At day care also, it was brought to the parent’s attention that the child would not participate in group play and social interactions.
2. Please discuss who brought it to the parents’ attention. If it was the parent who first suspected it, what was the cause for this suspicion?
We had several playdates at home as we were beginning to get worried about all these speculations. So, we had to see for ourselves. We began to see then understand what everyone was trying to tell us about our son. We also checked several different websites to check what the milestones for children my son’s age was and reading this caused me to have even more suspicions.
3. Please share your experience with the initial testing process. Also, be sure to discuss the child’s experience, as well as how it may have changed during additional testing over time.
My wife and I discussed our concerns with the pediatrician, and she advised us to undergo an evaluation to alleviate our concerns and determine whether there was anything wrong with his hearing. We had to fill out multiple questionnaires about her family history during the evaluation. Our son also had genetic testing done. Our son was starting to get stressed out from all the doctor visits and all the pushy play dates and interactions and tests that he also started having tantrums. We had ruled out hearing loss. The tests showed no evidence of this. Conversing with various professionals an assumption was made since our son was 23 months old at the time, he was selective with his hearing and responses due to high anxiety and stubbornness to share and participate in group play (Selective mutism) without being deaf. There is no official diagnosis. Just here say and speculation.
4. What was your level of involvement during the IFSP development? Be sure to discuss thoughts on how the process could be changed (if applicable).
We tried to be as involved in the IFSP process and development as possible. We were able to collaborate with a variety of professionals to devise a strategy that would benefit both my family and my child. We were able to have a role in creating goals for our son in each area of need. We also try to adjust daily in our routine to try to help our son to be more receptive and feel safe in his surrounding environment, so he can be start responding to people talking to him and keep eye contact. The professionals did not resist any help that we had asked for to help our son quickly recover from this setback that he had. The short-term goals provided were great to achieve each issue one at a time. We wouldn’t change a single aspect of the procedure. During the process of making the IFSP possible, our concerns and requirements were heard and taken into consideration..
5. Please share with me the various forms of therapy, treatment, and support that you and your child have received over time.
The pediatrician had suggested speech and occupational therapy in the day care center and in school. Since our son started receiving services, he has been displaying in the beginning many tantrums and he was very unwilling to participate. He felt pressured. As we were told it is a normal reaction. At home and in the school, he receives speech and occupational therapy. The occupational therapy would help our son socially and psychologically to help with our son to functioning in many normal ways. More importantly gaining independence and being more responsive to all conversations good and bad.
We had also found various support groups for parents, talk freely about the children’s development and any concerns we may have. Professional therapists and other parents in a similar situation make up this support group. It has been very helpful in keeping us calm during difficult times with our son and in keeping us in touch with other parents who are going through the same thing and getting advice from them on how to handle certain situations. We are fortunate to have a supportive community around our family.
6. How would you describe the relationships with the various service providers? Be sure to include the ability to have your needs understood and met by service providers.
The parents had a great experience and the cooperation between them and the providers were positive There were frequent meetings about any progress and for any concerns they might have had. They didn’t expect to be allowed to have so much involvement through this process and all their needs were met. We have been referred to wonderful therapists who are very aware and competent in what they do, and they have made our lives easier by answering all of our questions and concerns promptly. Managing a child with such setbacks is extremely challenging, and our support group goes above and beyond for both our child and us.
7. Discuss both the joys and frustrations that you have experienced with your child.
Moving forward now, after several months the parents are extremely happy with how their son John progress is going. They were very worried with the child’s frustrations. Especially the speech and tantrums the child had. The parents expressed that there were moments of exhaustion while trying to help the child. Many times, the parents thought they were doing everything wrong. Their son has trouble allowing to express himself. Many times, there were occasions where the parents were unable to understand their son because he would not communicate. This result to the little tantrums he had. With the services though as time went by, their son was able to start a little whisper talk or throw an eye contact movement. The parents and grandparents at the moment are very happy with the progress John is having. They are being very patient with this setback the child has encountered and are very optimistic about John’s future.
8. How has the fact that your child has a disability affected others in your immediate family? Be sure to focus on the siblings, spouse, grandparents.
John lives with parents, sibling and grandparents. The parents said that they try to lead a normal life at the moment without showing that they are hovering over their son John, so they won’t create stressful environment. The family was to keep calmness even though they spend a lot of time and energy on the child. They also try to maintain the nurturing environment equal in the home since there is another child and not to keep it left out. The family is trying their best to have different times with John and his brother to also give him the feeling of love and importance.
9. How has this experience affected the establishment and maintenance of friendships that the child has had over time?
John started this process 23months old and now is 32 months. John is still attending a daycare. Hopefully by next year when John enters PreK he will be able to attend and engage activities with the other children. Presently, still John is very slow in progress, yet there is. He is very kind, loving and caring. The parents will have a better idea by the end of the school year on how their son manages and copes.