Friday, July 10, 2009

First developmental assessment

Lots of posts about Adam lately so we'll have to get one in about Sara soon. But this one is important...Adam had his first assessment to check for any developmental issues in relation to his brain bleed. The Early Intervention program is offered through the state and assesses them much earlier than the Regional Development Followup Program through Easter Seals (appointment scheduled for January 2010). Since the NICU suggested we see them, we thought we would start extra early if there were any issues to address.

So on Thursday we took both the kids for the assessment, in case they wanted to do any twin comparisons. Mostly they just asked questions about Sara while she sat cute in her car seat.

It seemed only fitting to put Adam's 'Mr. Amazing' shirt on for the physical therapist and occupational therapist to work with him. We all got down on the floor and they put Adam on his blanket. We started just by answering a lot of questions they had about his life in the NICU and they made lots of notes.

If they assess Adam at over 30% behind developmentally, he would qualify for follow up therapy to work on catching him up. However, the OT explained that since he technically is 0 months, he could do nothing at all and not be behind!

The PT had a packet of exercises she wanted to try with him. Lifting to check his head control, standing him on his legs to see if he wanted to put any weight on his legs, using a rattle to see if his eyes or head would turn in the direction of the sound, checking the strength of his grasping. One thing that was pretty funny was she took his hands and moved his arms toward his chest and then out wide 4 times and then let go of his hands. 3 seconds later, his fists popped open! That is a normal reflex. One thing that they noticed quickly and we had seen at home, too, was that he favors his right side. When he lays in his crib, he prefers to put his head to the right, and it is actually quite the challenge to get him to move it to the left. The PT held him in her lap and pointed out how his head is a little mishaped because of that. The exercises she did revealed that his neck muscles are not as developed on that left side. Thankfully, she doesn't feel it is in relation to anything neurologically.

At the end of the meeting, we listened to their verbal report concerning the 5 areas they assessed. We will receive a written report in the mail. Some areas he was where they would expect - at 0 months gestationally corrected. And other areas they felt he was ahead and closer to his actual age of 3 months. The biggest concern was his weakness on that left side. They would like us to work with him on strengthening that left side by putting him on his stomach when he is awake and turning is head that direction. We will also lay him on the opposite shoulder to burp.

He does not need follow up therapy at this point. But the PT would like to re-evaluate him in 3 months to check on his left side weakness. She has set a goal for him to be able to move his head side to side either while on his back or on his tummy. Now is the time to correct it more easily than when he is older. They decided that while he won't qualify for the program being over 30% behind, he can qualify because of his brain bleed.

So there you have it - he's deemed a Wonder Twin again! Right on target or slightly ahead. Whew! Shannon and I have talked for years about how we are 2 intelligent parents so when we have kids, they would either be smart like us or it would be cancelled out and they would be dumb as a brick.

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