Our journey with Early Intervention has ended on a very sweet note.
Adam started physical therapy with Early Intervention in early July 2009, due to the tone (stiffness) in his legs resulting from his Grade III brain bleed at birth. Here is what he and Sara looked like around his first appointment with Sheri.
Sheri visited in mid-December and reported that Adam looked fantastic. She had absolutely no concerns with him any more and by looking at him, she couldn't tell he had any previous issues. There were a few of her tests that she had a hard time completing--she tried to chase Adam and see if he would run away or backwards to test his balance. Instead, he just climbed in her lap and said "hug." She doesn't usually run into that with the kids she sees! At the end of Adam's appointment, Sheri took a walk down memory lane and reminisced how tiny she remembered Adam being when she first met him. She couldn't believe how far he had come. I also soaked in the fantastic comments she made about Shannon and I as parents. She interacts with a lot of families and sees parents make the mistake of doing too much for their kids. However, she sees Shannon and I pushing the kids and challenging them to learn things and function on their own. It really touched me to get such praise from an outside observer.
Sheri's opinions were confirmed when another Early Intervention representative visited in early January. Julie performed a global developmental assessment. There were 7 areas in which she tested Adam and provided an age equivalent score. At the time of the appointment, Adam was 21 months old, 18 months corrected. She felt Adam was 19 months in the Adaptive and Cognitive areas. One thing that would have rated him higher was if he could drink from an open cup unassisted. We don't practice with that a lot to keep messes to a minimum so I'm fine with that.
Julie scored him at 20 months for Expressive Communication, 21 months for Personal/Social skills, and 23 months for Receptive Communication.
I am most excited that he received scores of 24 and 25 months for Gross and Fine Motor skills. Gross motor skills are the use of his large muscles for changing body positions, kicking, throwing, walking, running, and jumping. Fine motor skills involve hand and finger skills, hand-eye coordination skills, and the release/placement of objects in relation to other objects. It was the weakness of his gross motor skills that led Adam to first begin physical therapy through Early Intervention. Now he is actually performing ahead of his age. So awesome.
The total average of all his scores places him at the developmental level of a 21 month old, which is his actual age. It is the goal that a preemie can catch up to their peers by the time they are 2 years old. We are celebrating that Adam has not only met that goal, but met it early, and is actually scoring ahead of his age in some areas. Shannon and I are very grateful for the role Early Intervention has played in Adam's life and the time and care he has received from Sheri with physical therapy. We will continue to have him get tested in the Easter Seals program until he is 3.
Way to go, my boy!