We have been aware A2 would need Speech Therapy. In fact, we tried to have her evaluated when she was two- a young three, alas, she was very shy and would not cooperate with evaluators so the evaluations went nowhere.
Fast forward to last summer traveling, the shell started to break away and she would communicate with adults. Yay! This kid will be seen when she gets home.
When we arrived home, we started following up with old contacts we had used for therapy services. Some were unable to see us due to them moving, others could not see us because, by the time they had openings A2 would be turning four. A few were only able to see children if they started appointments prior to the child turning four. We now started searching for other places. Waiting lists.
One had an appointment opening for February! Yay! When the therapist found out we were unavailable for that two week time frame she had openings, she scheduled the next kid on the waiting list. She's since had no openings as kids with speech tend to be seen for longer periods of time.
I decided to contact our pediatrician and see if a referral might work. A week later we received a call from Child Find saying our pediatrician referred us for a speech evaluation. A2 would be seen in mid May for an appointment and we would then discuss eligibility of services. If she is eligible, she would receive "free" preschool and speech therapy... It's from the public school system though.
After months of waiting list and our first appointment with Children's Hospital on October 16th, we accepted the appointment. In the least, we figured we would have a starting point. The appointment though was not a speech therapy evaluation, it was an evaluation of development in general. She was fine, outside of speech. The new appointment for the speech evaluation: July 14th.
Between these dates we discovered we now had an appointment with a private provider for July 15th! Yay!
We decided to attend the appointment yesterday, overall, I was impressed by the kindness, professionalism and non judgemental attitudes of the workers and the general support I felt from homeschooling and traveling. A2 even said this was a fun process.
Of course, there is always a drawback.
Oddly enough, not that I was sensing from Child Find, the government.
From our pediatrician. As we drove to swim lessons, a call came from our pediatricians office... It went a little like this, insert some awesome "tone."
Person: This is ______ from Dr. ______'s office. I'm calling to follow up on our referral to Child Find. Has A2 been seen by them yet?
Me: Oddly enough, yes! Today. It went well.
Person: You were *only* seen today?
Me: We had an appointment in mid May but the appointment was for an overall developmental screen.
Person: It took *two months* to get an evaluation?
Me: Yeah, bureaucracy. We have another appointment tomorrow after a few months on a waiting list for _____. We're also scheduled for October 16th with CH.
Person: You are cancelling those, right?
Me: No. We don't even know if we are eligible for services from Child Find until August 25th.
Person: Okay, make sure they give us their findings. (3:30pm)
This morning I get another call from a local number and answer...
It is our pediatricians office AGAIN asking for the findings. At this point, I'm put off. Not even five hours between business hour phone calls????
Anyway, this process has been frustrating many hours of phone calls, e-mails and scheduling appointments. We are finally moving off the waiting lists! A2 will be starting services, in the very least- soon!
It's a huge relief. I'm happy for her. She has so much she would like to say and communicate and hopefully these will help her.... But I might be looking for a new pediatrician.