Benjamin was born in November 2010, four weeks earlier than we expected. Thankfully, because he had to be in the NICU, the doctors monitoring him on a daily basis were specialists in neonatal development, and we were able to detect his very rare chromosome deletion much earlier than we would have under normal circumstances.
In January 2011, Benjamin had his first real “test” at only two months old when we had our first evaluation with Early Childhood Cares of Lane County to see if we qualified for Early Intervention services. I cannot think of another time when I have wished so hard to have my child fail. This is not something any parent would ever think that they would want to qualify for.
However, over the last three and half years of our son’s life, his early intervention team has been the foundation of our family’s support system, and has had a positive and profound impact on his development.
According to the few statistics we do have regarding his condition, he has continued to meet developmental milestones about six months earlier than most of the other children with his condition. I credit his success to his determination and that of so many who worked with our family to make sure we had all of the tools we need to ensure that he has every opportunity to succeed.
Benjamin’s EI/ECSE team consists of his parents, an EI/ECSE service coordinator, a teacher for the deaf and hard of hearing, a physical therapist, and a developmental pediatrician. His mother is a graduate student in the University of Oregon’s Early Intervention teacher licensure program.