Thursday, January 10, 2008

I need to vent

Today's post has nothing to do with stitching, although I am only a day away from finishing Dream Sampler -- I'll post a picture as soon as it's done. It also has nothing to do with the Christmas pictures that I promised to post the last time I wrote, though hopefully I'll get off my duff and actually post them soon. It also has nothing to do with what I've been up to lately, which usually involves listening to either the new "Ultimate Santana" CD or the new Colbie Callait CD "CoCo" (which is great by the way) and reading online fanfic. Todays post is me venting about the freaking NB Health Care System.

Every child in New Brunswick (and I'm assuming all of Canada as well) goes for a 3 1/2 year checkup with the public health nurses, they make sure her eyesight is fine, check her hearing and speech as well as some general things like recognition of shapes, colours, etc. Basically just looking to see if there's anything that you're child is signifigantly behind on before they get to school. Well, Olivia had her 3 1/2 year checkup in May of 2007. (8 months ago) A speech therapist from the Parle Moi/Talk With Me program here in NB was there and mentioned that she thought that Olivia needed to be referred to see a speech therapist for her "imprecision" in her speech. She said that it's not a big problem, but something that should be looked into before school started if possible.

"Great! No problem." I said. "When do we go?" So then she tells me that the waiting list to get into a speech therapist in the Fredericton/Oromocto region is 8-10 months because they are short of speech therapists at the moment. A few weeks later I received a letter from the Speech Language Pathology Outpatient Department that said basically the same thing. 8-10 months. Ok, I can deal with that. They're dealing with staff shortages, there's not much I can do about it so there's not much sense in complaining. Right? Or, at lest, complaining isn't going to get me in any faster so no sense in getting myself all agrivated and worked up over something that I have no control over and no chance of changing.

Anyway, my cousin Janice asked me a few weeks ago if I'd ever heard any more about it and I said no I hadn't. She suggested calling to find out how much longer the wait would be since it was soon approaching 8 months since I was referred, and I hadn't yet received call to schedule an appointment within the next little while.

So, this morning I called the Audiology dept (same dept as speech therapist) and asked what how far up on the list Olivia currently was since we had been on the list since May of last year. She advises me she'll find out and give me a call back later this morning. About an hour later I get a call back and she informs me that they are still short staffed and it'll be at LEAST another YEAR befor we can get in. I nearly lost it. I know it's not her fault personally, and that thought is the only thing that kept me from completely going off on her about it. I said, something along the line of "So she's going to be in SCHOOL before she can get into a therapist?" and she said that was right, but that if I wanted her to get the speech help she needs before school I'd have to see a private speech therapist at a cost of $70-$80 per HOUR.

And, you know what makes me the angriest of all? I asked the "Parle Moi/Talk With Me" speech therapist whether Olivia needed to see someone at least TWICE in the year prior to her 3 1/2 year screening and she told me that Olivia was fine and her speech was just developing and would be fine. But during our meeting after the screening she told me that a parent usually notices the problems early on and they (the speech therapists) usually take that into account. If she had actually listened to me when I asked her about it the first few times, Olivia may have been into see a therapist by now and I wouldn't be going through this.



Katie said...

Oh my goodness that's nuts! I feel for your frustrations. We didn't even get notification for Alex's 3.5 year screening, at 3.8 months I called and it took another 2 months just to get in! Be warned that the communication between the dept of health and dept of education also sucks! I ended up spending hours of my time last year because they flagged Alex's school file as not having his immunizations up to date (and I'd checked with the doctor that summer who had the exact same read out they did). I had to take time off of work, to go over to public health to get something signed by them that he was up to date, to satisfy someone in their department, arghhh!

Faith Ann said...

We've certainly seen the delays in the speech therapy program in this province. Our son was evaluated because he had tubes in his ears and there's always a concern for delays due to that. We were told that we would be contacted for an evaulation in June (when he was 2) and the following February we received a call to come in. After the initial evaulation, he did not actually start seeing a speech therapist until September (at 3 1/2)... that was *well* over a year after the process was started and we were 'in line'.

I've been very happy with the results once he started seeing somebody, but getting to that point was a very slow process.

Anonymous said...

...And just think, I have a friend who is about to graduate as a speech therapist and she is DESPERATE to get a job in Fredericton, but there are no openings!

Anonymous said...

Hi Christine!
My name is Andrea - I have have lived in Nb for just over a year.
I have two boys - 3.5 and 1.5. yesterday I had my 3.5 at his GP's, and he told me (to my surprise actually) that he thought he should see a speech therapist. (The 3.5 year old screening clinics are postponed until March due to the H1N1 vaccine clinics this year!!).

anyhow - the dr. said it would take over a year if he referred us, so I should contact a private therapist.

I am wondering if you ever got into a program with your daughter, and if not - how did you follow up on this?

I would appreciate any insights you might have gained from your experience with your daughter.

How can I contact you? I have never posted to anyone's blog I have to post my email address publicly or is there a way to get it to you privately?

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