This post is dedicated to the people who work with Josie day in and day out to help her grow stronger - aka Team Josie.
We had our 6 month IFSP (Individualized Family Service Plan) meeting with Early Intervention recently to assess how Josie is coming along with her current services. I was told that EI is unlikely to increase her services as they are going through budget cuts, but that wasn't the case for Josie. The coordinators understood that Josie needs more. While she is showing some moderate improvements, she has not reached a single milestone yet. She's still not sitting up unassisted, rolling over, making consonant sounds and/or anything above those skills. I personally think she's got these skills in her repertoire, but she loves the attention from all these amazing women every day. Smart cookie.
So all of her services were increased by one. She will now have Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy and a Special Educator 3x week for 45 mins. And her Vision Therapy went up to twice a week for an hour.
In addition, I will continue to bring her to Amy at Keep Moving Forward about 2 or 3 X a week for intense Physical Therapy with the amazing equipment they have.
We are truly lucky to have been given the team we have. They are all impressively knowledgeable and they all show me how much they care about Jojo. The most key member of the team of course, is our Janice. Our amazing nanny who had no idea how different a nannying job this would be, and has just become part of our family and like another mom to Josie and to Tanner.
Before I show off our team, there is a music reference in the title: 'We are the People' is one of my favorite songs (especially to run to). It's by Empire of the Sun, an Australian electro-pop band that has only put out one (great) album to date called 'Walking on a Dream' in 2008. They're finally releasing a new album in June. I can't wait to see if they've got more gems like "We are The People' up their sleeve.
This is Joanne, Josie's Vision Therapist, using the light box with Josie. Josie has something called Cortical Vision Impairment (CVI), which is a specific vision disorder that is different than just low vision. Joanne has educated herself in CVI specifically to work with Josie. She is helping us understand how and what Josie sees so that together we can help her overcome it.
This is Jan, Josie's Special Educator, using Josie's favorite giggle stick! The noise cracks her up. Jan helps Josie with her sensory skills - Jojo loves Jan's entire bag of toys and all her fun songs. "These are my hands, touch and see... These are my hands touch and see" We sing it all day!
This is Michelle, Josie's PT. Michelle is helping Josie get stronger every time she visits. They do a whole lot of weight bearing together! Look how happy Josie is when she's standing. Michelle gives Josie so many kisses - she sure knows how to get her to smile.
This is Josie's OT Stacy. She's ready to have another little one of her own! Stacy is one of Josie's biggest cheerleaders! Especially when they're practicing rolling.
Debbie (who is camera shy) is Jojo's speech therapist and she also helps her with feeding skills. Josie loves having someone to dine with on a regular basis and she's definitely getting the eating thing down. I mean, with an Italian dad, she better get it!
Here's Amy again. There's a post below all about Keep Moving Forward. Amy is an incredibly positive force for so many people. Josie works out hard with Amy and grunts like a 250 pound man lifting 250 pounds - well, not really.
And last but certainly not least, this is Janice, Josie's other mommy. Janice just eats Josie up all day every day - her little "shweetie boo boo." We struck gold finding Janice, she holds my life together! I wanted to start a blog about nanny hunting while we were on the hunt. The different people I interviewed were blog-worthy. It was insane. I knew I wouldn't settle for someone who was just ok - not with my kids. The perseverance sure paid off.
This is Janice on her birthday in Montauk!