Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Physical therapy update

Adam had another physical therapy appointment last Friday. After asking multiple people if they could go with me, I had resigned to the fact that I would be handling it on my own and would make the best of it. Thankfully, Ashley came through and was able to join us--what a big help.

Sheri reviewed the report she had prepared from the previous visit. Unfortunately, I still haven't received my copy and have asked it be sent again. Adam was 10 months old at the time of that appointment so she was assessing him based on a 7 month corrected age scale. In Sheri's words, compared to a 7 month old, "he's rockin' it!" When I get my copy of the report, I can share the detailed results. At this point I am going off memory. There were about 6 categories that Adam was assessed in. There were 2 categories that she scored him at 6 months. Even though that is below his corrected age, it is not enough to consider him developmentally behind. One area that received a 6 month score was reflexes. When tested if he would put his hands out to catch himself if he felt he was falling, he reacted but not strong enough to support himself. That is considered to be an emerging skill - he is showing signs but has not mastered it. I think 2 categories he received an 8 month score and the rest 7.

The most assuring comment about her evaluation so far was that she felt without a doubt that his tone issues will not only NOT hinder him in life, but that they will resolve with the work we are doing. That's exciting news for a mama's ears!

When she started evaluating Adam this time, Sheri's first comment was that she could already see improvement over just 2 weeks ago with his balance while sitting. Unfortunately, he was more shy at this appointment and cried off and on for probably half the time. That made working with him a little more challenging. The most important thing that she wants to know at each appointment is whether he is progressing with his skills. Is he crawling further distances? Um, yeah! When he first started he went a few feet. Today he crawled through the dining room and into the kitchen to find me. I told her that as I do Adam's stretches, it seems like his left leg is more stiff than his right. She worked with him while I distracted him with some toys and came to the same conclusion.

At the end of the appointment, Christy joined us - our coordinator through the Early Intervention program. Julie also listened in through the phone - she will be coming again in May and is in charge of assessing Adam's global development. The point of the meeting was to review Adam's prior goals in the program and set new goals for the next 6 months. His prior goals were in relation to the weakness he had with one side of his neck muscles. We are long past accomplishing improvement in that area. His new goals are to be able to pull himself to standing and walk alongside that item while holding on. As parents, we are to partner with him in the process to help him accomplish those goals and continue to work toward being a thriving member of our family. We need to do his leg stretches a few times a day to keep his ankles, knees, hamstrings, and hips flexible. We need to challenge his crawling skills by giving him obstacles to climb over. And we need to hold toys over his head to encourage him to stretch his arms in a full reach.

Honestly? I think he is going to blow those goals out of the water and be walking...running 6 months from now. Over the weekend he started pulling himself up on everything!

I asked Sheri if she felt twice a month/every two weeks was still a necessary timeframe for recurring physical therapy appointments. She indicated that is pretty common and she would like to stay on that path.

The last thing we discussed at the appointment was Sara and her current status. Although she was born 12 weeks early, she never had any health issues that qualified her for follow up. I talked to Sheri about my concern that Sara really isn't interested in getting on her knees to show signs of crawling at all. On the one hand, she may just be going at her own pace. On the other, there may be some things that we can do to work with her. We have decided to open a file with Early Intervention on Sara. This is a free service through the state that we can take advantage of. She will be assessed by Sheri at the end of Adam's next appointment on the 22nd and Julie will come out to the house at some point to evaluate her overall development. They will then write a report that lists her assessed age in the various categories. From there, we decide if any further action is needed. It will be nice for her to receive some attention from the professionals, as well. I think it will just give me peace of mind.

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