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Friday, January 20, 2012

Baby Workouts

One of the nurses who visits Baby I at home asked if she could send Early Intervention out to evaluate her. Because of I's growth problems, the nurse was worried that she might be behind in other ways and thought a visit from the experts would be a good idea.

I love the ladies who came out to see her :) They were so sweet and they just adored my kids LOL Baby I is ahead in several areas but there are a few things she is behind on. Not enough to need formal physical therapy but they showed me what to do at home to work with her every day and see if we can get her caught up. They will continue to monitor her and if she isn't progressing and falls further behind, they can get her set up with an actual Physical Therapist to work with.

The most important thing we are to work on is her thumbs. She grabs at things but does not use her thumb--she just holds toys/blankets/whatever with her four fingers and keeps her thumbs tucked in against the sides of her hands. Most of the time, she holds her hands in fists, as well. So whenever I can, I am supposed to stroke the backs of her hands to encourage her to open them and work with her on using her thumb to grab things. It never would have occurred to me that this was a problem--I just figured it was a baby thing she would outgrow :p The Lovely Ladies said that it can cause problems down the line and that is why they would like to see her begin to use that thumb as an opposable digit instead of just being held against her hand :p She is not fond of wrapping that thumb around things and fights us putting a toy or something there for her to grasp. When we get the thumb around the toy, she will slip it back off and tuck it back against her hand. However, I am seeing some success using my fingers instead! If I get her thumb and fingers around my finger, she will hold onto it and keep her thumb in the proper position :)

While we are working her thumbs, I try to get in the next couple of things they want her to work on--bringing her hands together in front of her chest, stretching out the muscles in her shoulders, and raising her arms up above her head. She used to love to put her arms up but the last few weeks, she just doesn't want to and fights me every time I need to raise her arm up for something (usually to get dressed). They noticed that her muscles through her back, shoulders, and torso are very tight (it can be difficult to get her to sit because of it) so the different stretches will hopefully help. I get her to hold my fingers to work those thumbs and then I sing silly songs and make her arms "dance" as we bring her hands together and then stretch them out and up and touch her cheeks and we are very silly and it makes her giggle, even as she fights me because she does NOT want to do any stretches LOL I am hoping her amusement with the silliness lasts since trying to get her to do something she doesn't want to without something to distract her will be no fun ;)

While they were there, they asked if they could evaluate B since they noticed his language is not very clear (THANK YOU!!! SOMEONE WHO AGREES WITH ME. S had a speech delay and B is following the exact same patterns S did at this age. But because B is technically in the normal range for development, neither the old ped or the new ped sees any reason to intervene yet. If I had known this Early Intervention program existed, I would have contacted them months ago to see B instead of trying (unsuccessfully) over and over to get a referral from the doctor :p). He is such a bright little thing :) He was brilliant and they were so pleased with how well he did on all of the development assessments and it was nice to hear how smart he is ;) But they, too, see the difficulties he has with speech and they want him to be evaluated by their speech therapist, especially since there is a family history of speech delay. YAY!! As much as I don't want B to have something "wrong", I do want something to be wring. If that makes any sense--I want him to qualify for speech therapy so isn't so frustrated that only mom can understand him and even then not all the time. I don't want him to have the same struggles S had (and in some ways, still has).

They were also a wonderful source of information for S :) A few months back, the school psychologist evaluated him and he scored very high for ADHD. They have been doing a little behavioral therapy for him at the school and while we have seen some improvements at home, things have gotten worse at school. They told us that we would need to go through the pediatrician and could get him some more therapy that way. So we go to the ped, get him his official diagnosis and then.....nothing. The ped can prescribe medication, which we are not ready to do yet, but she tells us for anything else, we go through the school. The school that sent us to her. *head desk*

The Lovely Ladies have seen this before and they took down lots of information about Sterling and his school so they could gather up the information they have that could help us and we will go over it next week when they follow-up with Baby I and do some paperwork for B. Even the little bit we talked about while they were here was helpful and we never would have known what we were supposed to do without them. Sometimes it seems like no one wants to be involved so they don't tell you what you need to do. But the Lovely Ladies know what to do and with their help, so will I and we will get S the services he needs to be successful at school (he does pretty good at home academically. But once he gets to school, its like he can remember nothing he does at home, even things he is really good at, like math. Frustrating.)

All-in-all, it was a very productive suggestion Nurse R had, to have EI come out to see Baby I :D