I overhauled Chelsea's files early on, and maybe spend 5 minutes a day keeping up with them now. It is very manageable and SO EASY to find things! Here is what I do:
Being Organized Benefits
When I meet therapists/ doctors now, they are astounded by all the info I have on hand. I usually walk into an appointment with two "Chelsea binders" in tow, and copies of the "Chelsea Charts" for them.
Benefit #1 is that when I do that, I usually get zero problems with the professionals NOT taking me seriously, and I had a pediatrician that was more than happy to sign off anything and everything I put in front of him- parking passes, tests to order, doctors notes for IEP meetings, everything.
Benefit #2 is that anytime I have a call, I know exactly where to find all of Chelsea's information. I have found that if I don't have all the information right here right now, doors are shut. When I was signing up Chelsea for the Medicaid waiting list, they asked for her SS#, as well as for the doctors that diagnosed her and when. I had all the info right there and waiting, so instead of playing phone tag for 3 days, and being on hold for hours, I had her signed up in 10 minutes.
Another Way To Organize
If you don't like organizing things chronologically, another way to manage it would be to sort by category. Get some 3 ring binders label them- doctors, school, contact log, insurance/ government programs.
- Keep a running list of past, present, and future doctors
- Names, addresses, phone, fax
- Specialty, dates seen by doctor
- Diagnosis, tests, evaluations, medicines prescribed
- Questionnaires filed out
- Results of evaluations, tests, lab work
- Any treatment or therapy prescribed
- Date prescribed
- Amount to be given/ side effects
- Business cards/ appointment cards
- Name, address, main and fax numbers
- Grades attended or attending
- Copies of full individual evaluations
- Questionnaires filled out
- Copy of IEP
- Documentation of behavior, dates of incidents
- Report cards and progressive reports
- School work- strong and weak points
- Sample of school work
Other Support Systems- Medicaid, insurance, etc
- Name of organization
- Contact person of the organization/ business cards
- Interaction with that organization (contact log)
- Benefits and downfalls
Gallon Zip-Lock Bag
- Hold cards, brochures, literature
- Letters, emails
- Art work/ school work
SOMETHING TO REMEMBER:
Always, always, always send copies, NEVER the originals! I remember for one of Chelsea's early appointments, I mailed an 83 page document and it GOT LOST in the mail, so I had to redo it, and re-look up all of her information. Probably why I am hyper-organized now.