The Regional Center is a program through the government to help children, up to the age of 3. There are many programs they provide, such as speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy, help for the blind, deaf, and more. The child has to qualify to be accepted. Usually the kids need help because of medical issues, or an accident. To apply, all they need is a referral from a doctor OR a parent! In Clark’s case, I referred him.
After filling out a LOT of paperwork describing Clark’s medical background and sending previous medical evaluations (speech, occupational and auditory), Clark was able to be evaluated first hand through the regional center. To be approved, Clark needed to be at least 33% behind what is normal for his age.
Clark was approved for Speech and Occupational Therapy, as well as approval to see a Vision Specialist (I didn’t even know there was such a thing!). Occupational Therapy is once per week with Joanna, a lovely lady who comes to our house. She brings a huge bag of toys, and has Clark do activities with her, such as puzzles, drawing, play dough and more. Then we see Elizabeth once every 2 weeks. She is Clark’s Vision Specialist. Elizabeth takes Clark to different local playgrounds and helps to make sure he can safely play. Since he only has vision in 1 eye, Clark doesn’t have depth perception. So she works on key words to help him understand, such as “slope”, “Step”, “drop off”, etc… For Clark, this is definitely more play than work.
Clark was approved for speech therapy. However, there is no one available to help him! From what I understand, the Regional Center hires out local therapists. And it looks like everyone is full. This is very frustrating because speech is the main reason I had Clark evaluated in the first place.
On top of that, Clark’s evaluation for physical therapy showed that he doesn’t need help. He was slightly better than where he needed to be. I think Clark needs help. He can’t jump, has trouble walking up or down the stairs, and can’t run without tripping. Under normal circumstances, I would have him re-evaluated, but it wouldn’t help much. Clark will be 3 in December, and all of his therapy will be transferred to the school district, where they will re-evaluate him. Again.
I love the help Clark is getting. I just wish it was a little easier to navigate.