An occupational therapist from Early Intervention did an in-home follow up assessment with Adam today. He had already received a physical therapy follow up but because the occupational therapist had to be reassigned, her appointment was delayed.
Side note: I knew she was coming today but I couldn't remember what time. We had the conversation while I was on my way to Minnesota and the envelope with my notes got thrown away! I had 1:30 in my head. Boy was I off when she rang the doorbell at 8:30. I sure was glad that I snuck in a shower at 6:45. But I'm sure it looked strange when I had a nice sweater on and pajama pants. My jeans were clean in the laundry room but I didn't want to wake the dog. Oh, well, at least I got a shower, especially since I didn't get one yesterday with the extra duties from Shannon being sick!
She was able to take a lot of notes as she watched Adam finish eating his breakfast. Or at least he tried eating - he seemed more interested in smiling at her and giggling! What a flirt! She noticed that he was social and smiling, as well as talking. Then she worked with him grabbing toys to see if he would put them to his mouth and shaking rattles. She got him out of his highchair and laid him on the floor. He quickly showed off his standing skills, as well as his new trick...when you pull on his hands while he is laying down, he doesn't just sit up - he goes right to standing. His challenge was then to see if he could sit without any assistance. He did better than I thought he would but was a little wobbly. And of course he had to show her how he could roll over to his tummy. This was the best I have seen him on his stomach - relaxed body and legs kicking rather than all spread out stiff. He was also reaching for toys in front of him.
We will receive the official assessment report in the mail. Her overall opinion was that he looked excellent. She felt in some areas he was on track for his corrected age of 4 months and some areas he was closer to his actual age of 7 months. She was very impressed with his tummy time - most babies don't like to be playing on their stomachs at this point. The concern she reiterated from the physical therapist was looking for strength vs. tone. Strength is the ability to perform controlled tasks, while tone is stiffness of motor skills and a possible sign of effects from his brain bleed. Examples of this were seen when he would sit and try to throw his weight back rather than allow his body to relax. And while he had good tummy time this morning, his tendency is to show stiffness.
When we visit Easter Seals for our first appointment in January, they will analyze this issue better. Over the next few months, we can work on getting him to relax while seated, as well as offer more tummy time while stretching for toys.
It's always exciting to hear the views of an experienced professional. I am thankful to have these interim assessments so any struggles Adam may have can be quickly corrected, eliminating residual issues from his IVH. He is going to have quite the story some day...