Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Early Intervention Evaluation

We had the state funded Early Intervention group out to our house today to go over their various assessments of Olivia in the past few weeks.  Overall nothing shocking, the little missy is behind her healthy heart peers.  We got the standard "She's doing really well considering all that she's been through".  For all you heart families out there wondering exactly what that means here it goes:

  • Muscle Tone - Olivia is currently on the low end of the normal range meaning that her muscles are not as strong and lack the edurance of a 5 1/2 month old because of all the time she's had to spend on her back
  • Verbal Skills - A baby at this age should be babbling more and making sounds that start to actually sound like trying to form sounds like Ma, Ba, Da, etc; these are considered the building blocks that will eventually lead towards talking
  • Symmetrical Strength - Olivia has always favored using everything on her left side, we attributed that to the arm immobilizer she had on post-Norwood for virtually the 1st month of life.  Subsequently she prefers to sleep on her left side, play with a majority of toys, and even turns her head to the left (which doctors also have said is an indication of reflux)
  • Posture - Because she's spent so much time on her back laying flat with post-op surgical restrictions she tends to put her arms straight out and resemble a starfish whereas ideally she should be curling up into a ball like a roly-poly or armadillo - haha I know I couldn't come up with a better example
In short the state recommends that we start physical therapy sessions once a week as soon as possible and schedule another assessment with the speech pathologist in 3-4 months to make sure that the verbal skills start coming along.  Brian and I have decided that we want to wait a month to see how Olivia does later this week when we can start some tummy time and then in another two weeks when we can start doing exercises by pulling her up to sitting with her arms and holding her under her arms.  We will start putting her in front of the mirror every day for a little bit besides bath time to see if that will help her with the language skills as well.  Quite obviously she did not appreciate being talked about for such a long time because she scowled at all of us and then last night she played on her activity mat and talked on and on for over an hour. 

1 comment:

  1. If you have acess to good services, go for it! I was hesitant at first, but our PT sessions (at one point three times a week!) and developmental specialist sessions (now twice a week) provided our daughter with SO much! She got a great workout, she gained marked skills, she learned to trust caregivers outside the family, and she had fun! She is now 9.5 months and we just learned yesterday that she no longer qualifies for PT... a great feat, but a bit sad at the same time. All that said, do what works best for you but I did want to sing the praises of Early Intervention-- once you get over being tied to home for the appointments, a rhythm is born. I now look at it as one hour to myslef while my daughter squeals with delight at her "activities" and the others are at school. Win/win for all, right? Good luck.

    Hannah, Mom to Cora (HLHS)