Last Early Intervention session at home

April 1, 2009 at 8:22 pm 9 comments


(Polly at three months old)

I remember the first time a therapist came to our home.  Polly was nine weeks old and just over ten pounds.  I was unsure about someone coming into our living room and working with my little baby and scared of Polly’s diagnosis.  I made eye contact with the therapist often, trying to guess what she thought about Polly, trying to figure out what she thought about me. 

As the months passed there in St. Joe, I treated therapists like bartenders.  It was like every week I was throwing down my cash on the bar counter (by letting them work with my kid) and then in turn they had to listen to me process Polly’s diagnosis through research on-line and question after question about her progress in her sessions all the while communicating just how unsure and frightened I was in the new role I found myself in.

Polly has worked with over twelve therapists in the last three years both in Michigan and in Chicago, at home and in a center based therapy settings.  She has laughed and played and cried and screamed and yelled and kicked and held hands and played ring around the rosy.  She has hugged and kissed and hid and helped for three years. 

I’ve done all that too.

Time passed and I slowly morphed from a frightened new mother of a child with special needs into a knowledgeable mom, ready to fight for her child’s rights, aware of the latest therapy and treatment options, up on the newest medical check list pertaining to Down syndrome, watching the therapists like a hawk to ensure the best therapy for Polly and head over heels in love with my little girl.

Just recently, in the last six months I’ve gotten comfortable sitting in the other room during a session, working on the computer or even at times reading a magazine but really still listening whole heartedly to my child’s session in the other room.

And today it’s done.  Next week is spring break for Chicago Public Schools and then Monday, April 13th Polly will go to preschool, three hours a day, five days a week. 

All her therapy will take place at school.

I remember thinking that these early years with Polly were going to take forever, and that indefinitely my life would revolve around her therapy needs.  But really, therapy did not become our lives.  It just became a part of our life, the new norm for our family. 

And the 0-3 years are done. 

In college I worked a stint as a custom service representative for Sears.  That’s a fancy way to say that I was in Telemarketing, which meant eight our Saturdays sitting in a cubicle making phone calls about tire service.

The script is still fresh in my mind.  I could pick up the phone this afternoon and do a perfect customer service phone call:

“Please listen carefully to your options and then answer… Did the service…

1.  Exceed your expectations

2. Meet your expectations

or 3. Did not meet your expectations.”

My baby is growing up.  My baby is growing away.

And I am so very proud of her.

So far my life with Polly has 1.  Exceeded my expectations.


(Polly’s last therapy session at our house four days before her third birthday)


Entry filed under: Birthdays, Down syndrome, Early Intervention, Preschool, Special Needs, Therapy.

Spread the Word to End the Word, do you pledge? Polly is three!

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. My name is Sarah  |  April 1, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    Such a big girl. Getting ready for more fun and learning.

  • 2. Jen  |  April 1, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    Such a great post! What a big girl she is. Mark is heading to Chicago solo this weekend. I’ll let you know the next time we head that way.

  • 3. Deanne  |  April 2, 2009 at 3:26 am

    What a journey your family has been on these past 3 years. Incredible!

  • 4. RK  |  April 2, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    I never knew how true it was that they “grow up so fast.” But it feels like the big 3 is coming too quickly at our house too. So much to prepare for with all the transitions… Polly is a superstar! And her mom has done an awfully good job as well. :o)

  • 5. kristi  |  April 3, 2009 at 1:47 am

    She is such a cutie!

  • 6. theramblinghousewife  |  April 4, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Awww!! Good for her!! What a big girl! We’re not there yet–We’ll age out of early intervention in November.

    It’s hard to believe how fast those first three years fly by! 🙂

  • 7. Laura  |  April 8, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Hi Gillian!
    Your site is wonderful! I work for Cookie magazine and would love to add you name to our list of mommy-bloggers. Could you possibly email me back with some contact info? Really looking forward to hearing from you! Laura

  • 8. Laura  |  April 8, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    my email address is!

  • 9. Jackie Gillings  |  May 5, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Gillian, It is hard to believe Polly is three years old. How the time goes by fast. I enjoy reading about Polly and your family. It sounds like life in Chicago is going well for you. I retired last July and I miss the kids and the families. I’m glad I found your site so I can check in to see what Polly is doing. I wish you well, Jackie


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