As Luke prepares to "graduate" from Early Intervention, I'd like to share with you something that EI taught me. In the flurry of paperwork and assessments, one of the EI crew handed me a binder. This has literally become indispensable to us.
When we received the binder, it contained a Business Card Page, a set of dividers, and a bunch of information. As the dust settled a little bit, I went through the info. Much of it is available online, so I took those pages out. The Welcome To Holland poem, I rolled my eyes at, crumpled up and threw away. This is not Holland. There are no tulips or cute wooden clogs here.
But the concept of the binder made sense to me, and I eventually tailored it to our needs. Here's how we've made it work.
First, it's a View Binder, so I printed a page for the front cover. Really original, right? The back cover, I often slip a list of reminders for the next doctor's appointment into.
Inside are the front and back pockets, used to bring handouts home, hold the MIND Institute parking pass, carry forms to appointments, and keep papers that haven't been hole-punched and put away yet.
The business card page has been very helpful. I can figure out at a glance who we saw at a given location, or what the name of our wheelchair guy is. Handy to have those phone numbers at my fingertips, too.
Behind that, we have a picture page. When I took the binder to Luke's Transition Meeting at the school district in March, there were people there who had never met Luke. When I opened the binder and someone asked to see the picture, this was a natural way of showing it around so they'd have a face to put to the name. I think sometimes when they do dozens of these meetings, the actual student gets lost in the shuffle. This seemed to personalize him for them.
I have post it's on some of the tabs to keep track of additional information.
Paul has taken over Luke's doctor appointments recently, and he takes the binder with him. This is especially helpful when meeting a new specialist, who might say, "Well, has he had XYZ test run?" and we can flip to Test Results and say, "Yes, and that came back within normal parameters." It also keeps the after visit summary and any handouts in one place, so they're less likely to get lost on the way home.
I'm sure the tab names will change over time (I'm thinking we need one for insurance issues) but you get the general idea. Having a binder with all this important information means I'm not relying on my faulty memory.
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