Who is that handsome guy in the mirror??
It's been hard to get on here to write what has been going on in our world. There's the regular life things --my car won't start, working on Cub Scout activities, working, having a cold, caring for sick kids, school vacation, etc. -- and then there's the I'll-update-everyone-on Brady-but-I-don't have-all-the-info-yet, and lastly there's the "where has my head been lately?" question that just looms out there.
So, we'll do the easiest one today: Brady's year assessment from Early Childhood Intervention. Last Saturday, Brady's OT Tara, PT Lisa, and ST Vikki converged on my house for a two-hour year assessment. Brady started PT in February of 2006; ST in June, and OT in August. At this meeting, Brady was tested in areas such as gross motor, speech, fine motor, cognitive, social interaction, self care and communication. We reviewed the old six month goals and made new goals and strategies. His health was documented, a feat Lisa acknowledged took her longer to do than for any other one of her patients since it was a long a lengthly list. She even forgot his latest - radioulnar synostosis - in one part, although she did get his glasses in.
Before the meeting, Lisa asked if I wanted his developmental age written in the report. I guess there are people who may be discouraged or unhappy actually seeing in print the "actual" age the child is performing at. I had no problem with the developmental age; in fact, I was very interested to see where he did lie. Discouraged or unhappy? Nope - I KNOW he's delayed, it's not a secret nor something that I could hide if I had a problem with it. I think knowing what levels he is at will only help me in helping him achieve his goals. Brady's average "age" was about a six-month delay, which everyone seemed to be happy with. His low muscle tone accounted for the lower "age" levels, for example his gross motor was at 5 months (not walking, crawling, or sitting independently, although he is thisclose to mastering that feat) and feeding at six months (he doesn't have the strength to hold a bottle). But his cognitive was at 11 months, social interation and fine motor at nine months and self care at 10 months. The therapists and I agree that in the next few months Brady will be jumping further along... we already see so many differences with him.
We had some happy surprises during the tests. Brady did a few things we didn't realize he could do. He played peek-a-boo with a toy and a blanket, moving the blanket out of the way to see the toy. He also tried to turn pages in a board book. I had started reading with him a while back, but stopped because he didn't seem to be looking at the pages so much. Well, we are all about the books again! (Maybe it's his glasses??)
Another happy surprise came with writing the report. Lisa noted that another reason the report was harder to write for Brady was because they realized there was a lot he seemed to understand but couldn't do, mostly because of his low muscle tone. For example, she pulled a string that was attached to a toy dog on wheels. Brady watched the dog move along. She gave him the string, and he brought his arm back to pull it, watching the dog (this shows he knows the dog was going to move with the string). The string was a bit long and he doesn't really have the strength anyway. But they all acknowledged he was trying to move the dog.
I was actually a little surprised his feeding was at six months because I thought it should be younger, but he had mastered the goals on the 3-6 month age and was only missing one goal in the next age bracket. His feeding has been a lot better, which I am attributing all to not having a cold. When this child has a cold, all bets are off. Just take off for the week because he won't eat food, won't have a bottle (although he ate enough to gain a pound in one week), drip from that nose 24/7. Now that he's not sick, he has been downing the bottles, eating some food, and chatting and attempting his half-smiles more often. He actually seemed to be almost laughing the other day when I kept kissing the back of his head.
We are also still taking the Prevacid. We were taking one tablet every morning but now we are taking 1/2 tablet in the morning and 1/2 tablet in the evening. Both ways last 24 hours. I am not sold that it is working, but since it is not hurting I am going to keep at it another month.
We are all really pleased with Brady's progress and the assessment. His OT is off on maternity leave after tomorrow, but I opted not to get a new OT. She is going to call in and we'll see her once a month. She is fabulous and very knowledgable and I would hate the idea of breaking someone new in. We're going to start going to a playgroup sponsored by Early Intervention so that will replace the hour we had OT. The playgroup is in the 9-to-12 month age range, which is applicable for him. Hopefully we will like it and get to know a few others in the local area in similar situations.
I feel really good about the assessment - I feel like Brady is on a path and we're working it right. His personality is starting to show through a little more and I can't wait to see what a cute little bugger he is going to be.