Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Referral to the Early Intervention Program for an assessment of Boo
Since I'm on a roll with foster posts lately, I thought I might as well continue with an update on Boo.

Boo has captured my heart, as Baby Bug did.  She's a beautiful little girl who came to us with a troubled background (moved to 3 foster homes within 12 months with no transition periods for any of the moves, this after being taken away from first her mother and then her aunt and put into the foster care system in my state).   She's been an innocent victim and is paying the price for actions out of her control.  I love Boo because she's quick to offer her affection with hugs and kisses.  She's gutsy and spirited and oh-so independent.  I've become quite taken with her over the past 6 months.

Unfortunately, Boo is struggling in some ways, even in the loving environment that we're trying to provide for her, and I just sent an email to her CPS worker (whom we haven't had the best of luck with at times), asking for an assessment to be done on Boo in the hopes that we can get some early intervention for her now before things get worse.

Here's the gist of my email:

[CPS worker],

I'm emailing you to request that a referral be submitted to our state's Early Intervention Program (EIP) for an assessment of Boo, since she falls within their birth to 3 years old age range.

We're asking for this referral because Boo is exhibiting the following behaviors:

1) Temper Tantrums- not mild ones, rather more severe ones where she throws herself to the floor kicking and screaming when she doesn't get her way.

2) Shoving- when she's angry, frustrated, or not getting what she wants she's quick to shove our 3 year old son.

3) Hitting- when she's angry, frustrated, or not getting what she wants she's prone to hitting our 3 year old son as well as Oronzo and me.

4) Biting- when she's angry, frustrated, or not getting what she wants she's prone to biting our 3 year old son as well as Oronzo and me. She hasn't drawn blood yet, but she bites hard. What's even more alarming is that she's begun to bite herself as well!

When Boo was first placed with us, there was a month where she was quiet and passive because she was scared and in an unfamiliar environment. As she got to know us over time and as she got more comfortable in our home, her personality began to emerge. She is often times stubborn and when we consistently enforced boundaries and rules with her, the tantrums began. Over the last two months, her outbursts have escalated to frequent shoving, hitting, and biting in addition to the temper tantrums. Last Sunday night when I told her to sit down in the bathtub so she wouldn't fall and hurt herself she got frustrated and bit herself on the wrist! I've recently called and spoken with her former foster mother and was told that she experienced frequent temper tantrums with Boo as well, so this has been going on far longer than the 6 months that she's been with us.

In addition to these aggressive behaviors that we're experiencing with her, we've also been told by our pediatrician that there is most certainly cause to be concerned about Boo's speech development. We took her to her 18 month well check last week and our pediatrician said that at this age she should have a vocabulary range of about 50 words. She has a vocabulary range of barely 10 words, despite our efforts to help her improve through reading age appropriate books to her, telling her the names of objects and asking her to repeat them back to us, and even working to teach her sign language in conjunction with learning the appropriate words. Our pediatrician feels that early intervention is the best course of action, rather than waiting to see if she improves on her own. We agree with him.

As you know, Boo has been through a lot in her 18 months. She's had very little stability or security in her life and I suspect this is an underlying factor that's contributing to her overall frustration levels.

Of course, Oronzo and I are not experts, which is why we feel it's important to get her on the list immediately in order to begin the initial planning process (IPP) by the Early Intervention Program. This IPP includes assessment, eligibility determination, and, for eligible children, the development of an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). We feel these services are necessary for Boo's well being and we want to get her the help she deserves now rather than later.

Please let me know how to proceed. Do you have to make the referral to the Early Intervention Program, or can I do so through their website?

Your immediate attention to this matter is most appreciated.



It's taken Oronzo and I a while to agree to ask for an assessment to be done on Boo.  For the longest time, I told myself that her temper tantrums and even the hitting and biting were part of the territory that comes with parenting an 18 month old, even though we didn't experience this with Snuggle Bug at that age.  But what scared me into action was watching her bite herself in frustration!  That can't be a healthy response for a little girl.   And when our pediatrician expressed his concern with her speech development, we decided that we'd better be safe than sorry.  

The bottom line is that Boo has been through a lot in her short life and if we can get her some help, then she deserves for us to be her advocate.  I'm not talking medication help, I'm thinking more along the lines of play therapy, speech therapy, or something similar.  I'm not really sure what should be done, if anything, but we'd like a professional to come into our home and meet with us to do an assessment.  

Perhaps it'll be as simple as someone telling us how we, as her foster parents, can better help her.   I'm all for that!  If there are techniques or strategies that we can be working on with her, I'd love some guidance.

Perhaps it's more than that.  And if that's the case, waiting to see if she'll outgrow these issues will serve no purpose.

Just to motivate our CPS worker into action, I made a point to call the office and get the name and email address of her supervisor.  Then I copied this supervisor on the email.

I'm still waiting for a response from either of them.  I won't wait long before I take it to the next level.  I'm not a patient person when it comes to "my" children.

I'll keep you posted!  Of course, prayers are much appreciated!

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5:00 AM

At 5:55 AM, Anonymous chelle said...

Your heart is so amazing. I worked with children that slipped through the cracks and became so difficult that traditional homes were no longer an option. SO many times it never had to come to that , if only someone would have been their advocate early on.

I applaud you for giving so much of yourself to this children.

At 10:04 AM, Blogger Carey said...

Praying for you.
Your doing the right thing by getting the help for her now. I hope they get back to you quickly.

At 7:28 PM, Blogger Momma Bean said...

We have experienced similar issues with our 5 y.o. (placed with us and adopted as an infant through the foster care system). Early Childhood was an excellent resource for her. I hope they get back with you soon. Our DD is still in O.T. and other therapies. You will be in my prayers.

At 8:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a son who was very delayed with speech less than ten words at age 3. He was evaluated and put into free therapy through our school district. It made all the difference. He was very frustrated and cried easily. I can't even imagine if he had the home switching your little one has had. Heart breaking.

He is now graduated from high school and heading to college. All is well. Hang in there. i recommend the intervention!!

At 4:12 AM, Blogger Heidi @ GGIP said...

There are certain laws regarding Early Intervention. In my state, starting the day I called for an assessment, they had 30-45 days to come and do the assessment in my home. After they did the assessment, his therapy started within two weeks.

You probably can look online for the timeline in your state so you know what to expect.

Much luck!

At 6:43 AM, Blogger Tamara said...

Just wanted to assure you that you are not alone - Cookie went through these things as well around the same age and she was placed with us at birth. She did bite herself on her wrist or arm, and often left marks. She had a little biting problem at daycare, but no more so than the other kids. Apparently this biting thing is very common (though many kids never bite). We got the book "No Biting" and "Teeth Are Not For Biting" and she LOVED reading them, and the problem really eased up. Now all those problems are gone.

We had to teach her to calm herself down b/c she would get so over-worked-up during the tantrums. She is hyper-sensitive and has some sensory overload issues - you might ask about sensory issues with Boo as well - they can test for those as well.

Just wanted to let you know we've been though similar, with great outcomes.

At 6:54 AM, Blogger abebech said...

OW, so many of those behaviors improved for us with dd when her language skills improved. In her case, there was no hearing problem, but an evaluation for one is certainly prudent. Sounds like you're really on top of things!

When our daughter became able to better express herself with her words, much of her anger dissipated and she was able to share her sadness -- and her happiness! We loved the "Feelings Book" and other books like it, and about six months later it was hilarious to hear a little tiny girl say "I'm weally frusterated."

You have my email -- dd was Boo's age when we were having similar problems, so we can trade stories if you like.


At 8:18 PM, Blogger Beth said...

What a wonderful mother you are to this little girl who deserves to have someone like you in her corner.

At 8:20 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

I think you're doing the right thing to at least get Boo evaluated. Do you need CPS to do this? I don't know if each state is different, but when we started Kayla with ECI her ped first mentioned it to us and asked if we knew about Zia Therapy in town (we did) and then we just called them to ask them to come for an eval and get her started; I would think you could do the same? anyway, I hope Boo has no trouble getting services to help her out a little bit with some of the issues she is having.

At 8:51 AM, Blogger Kathleen Marie said...

Smart move cc the letter to the supervisor and I don't blame you for taking action on this now. Boo is in a great and safe place...

Hugs to you!

At 8:17 AM, Blogger Erin said...

As a teacher, I know from experience that early intervention is the key. I hope your CW gets back to you soon and you get some answers from her evaluation. Hang in there!

At 7:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope you hear something soon.

I'm re-reading Shepherding A Child's Heart and behavior is such an outpouring of the heart. With as much as that little girl has gone through even at a young age (they understand) I'm sure she is very confused by it all and since she doesn't have a broad vocabulary her actions are speaking for her.

We will pray.


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Name: Overwhelmed

My complete profile

It wasn't supposed to work this way...Parts 1 through 10

(the story of the private, domestic adoption of our son)

(Part 1)
(Part 2)
(Part 3)
(Part 4)
(Part 5)
(Part 6)
(Part 7)
(Part 8)
(Part 9)
(Part 10- Adoption Finalization)

Fostering isn't for the faint of heart!

(our journey to adopt again through foster-to-adopt, the good, the bad, & everything in between)

Adoption #2- considering the State
More Adoption #2 thoughts
Adoption #2- Back to considering the State
Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 1)
Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 2)
Family Foster Home Licensing Prep Checklist
Adoption #2- Long overdue update
PS-MAPP class homework assignment
Our preliminary home inspection went well!
Adoption #2: Licensing update
Adoption #2- Foster Facts
Adoption #2: I love it when things go my way!
Adoption #2- The home inspection
Adoption #2- We failed our home inspection!
Adoption #2- We passed the follow-up home inspection!
Adoption #2- Still waiting
Adoption #2- We're getting closer
Adoption #2- An update & a lead
Adoption #2- The lead that didn't pan out.
Adoption #2- We're licensed!
Adoption #2- We have a tiny baby here!
Adoption #2- Update on this precious little girl.
Adoption #2- Quick update on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- Baby Bug is staying longer!
Adoption #2- Baby Bug is growing!
Adoption #2- Overdue update on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- The latest on Baby Bug
Adoption #2- Shopping spree for Baby Bug
Being a Foster Parent Does Not Make Me A Saint
Adoption #2- Another Placement Call!
Adoption #2- Placement Meeting- UPDATED!
Adoption #2- We have Boo at our home!
Adoption #2- Meeting Boo
Adoption #2- I'm angry on Boo's behalf!
Adoption #2- A Birthday Party for Boo
Adjusting to three 3 and under!
Stressful moments in fostering.
Adoption #2- Update on our foster daughters
CPS Workers Jerking Our Chain!
It's getting much worse!
Fostering: Update on Baby Bug
Fostering: Update on Boo
The effects of fostering on Snuggle Bug
The time is drawing near to let go of Baby Bug.
Good conversation with Baby Bug's dad.
Boo has a Permanency hearing coming soon!
My heart is breaking!
Bittersweet news about Baby Bug.
Next Friday is going to be tough.
Packing up Baby Bug's belongings
It's done- Baby Bug is gone.
Working on finding peace, one day at a time.
Referral to the Early Intervention Program
Baby Bug update
Home Inspection for re-licensing
Parole granted for Boo's bio mom
Baby Bug is turning 1 year old soon.
Day 2 of Boo's permanency hearing
A prayer answered today!
Attending Baby Bug's 1st birthday party
Foster news
Good news for Boo's case
Boo's bio family visits
Termination Trial date set!
A new caseworker for Boo
I've been asked to testify in court.
Court hearing for "John Doe"
Contested termination trial begins tomorrow afternoon
Boo's adoption has been finalized!

Working on finding peace, one day at a time.
It's done- Baby Bug is gone.
Packing up Baby Bug's belongings
Next Friday is going to be tough.
Sorry for the sporadic posting.
My first sewing class.
Favorite Ingredients Friday (Appetizers & Snacks E...
Boo and her babies!
More tutus!
Favorite Ingredients Friday (Whole Grain Pancakes)...

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