What do you do when your child doesn't qualify for early intervention (EI) but still needs help? It's a question that many parents don't think about until the moment they're told by their daycare provider that their child may have developmental challenges that should be evaluated. That's exactly the situation my husband and I were in this past winter, a mere 6 weeks after our second child was born. While we were confident that our firstborn was expressing behaviors within the range of "normal" for a 2.5 year old with a new sibling, we wanted to have him observed in his classroom.
We had no idea where to turn.
Fortunately, there is an amazing resource available in Waltham for just this situation. Cobblestones is a foundation dedicated to supporting parents from pregnancy through preschool. Conceived by the former developers of the now defunct REACH program at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Brighton, they recognized a deep void in the area for a play space that offered specific developmental programs. So the team fine tuned their mission and created a beautiful, enriching play center in Waltham that opened at the end of April.
The Cobblestones staff is comprised of four women, three of whom are EI specialists. Their specific credentials range from occupational therapy to speech-language pathology to infant massage and baby planning. Perhaps the most important credential they all have is that they too are mothers. So when I reached out to Cobblestones for help with the situation with our son, they were able to aid us immediately by going to his daycare and observing him, and also were able to relate to my concerns and fears as his mother. They also clearly explained the EI process, state qualifications for services (kids must be considered at a 30%+ deficit behind other age-matched children), and the fact that they could provide support to our son if he fell in the range that didn't qualify him for state services but still needed help.
In the end, it turns out our son exhibits behaviors normally associated with children his age and there is no cause for concern at this time. Words cannot express my gratitude to Cobblestones for their support and their resources. If you are in striking distance of Waltham and need developmental support services, I highly recommend you check out Cobblestones. In additional to on- and off-site developmental evaluations, they also offer open playtime, development playgroups, workshops, and pre/postnatal care services.
Cobblestones LLC, 85 River Street, Suite 7, Waltham; 781-609-2514
Image credit: Cobblestones