Tuesday, February 26, 2008

something to smile about

This morning we had Dawson's Early Intervention (EI) evaluation and happily it went very well! We met with a physical therapist and a speech therapist and they spent about an hour engaging our little guy.

He is doing GREAT! :) (Well, we already knew that hehe, but nice to have a professional agree ^_~) In terms of his motor skills, the PT was very impressed with how he's doing - he is a bit delayed of course in terms of where most typical babies are at this point, but just in little things like not bringing his arms upward reaching as much as they'd like, having a wobbly head when being held upright, kicking his legs out a bit to the side instead of rotating his hips inward and kicking straight up, etc. She showed us that although it appears he has good neck control, it's because he has found a trick to compensate for the weakness there - he rotates one shoulder forward and the other backward, stabilizing his head. Of course that's not a good thing as it can create a bad habit but it's so amazing what these little guys can come up with to make their bodies do what they want them to do! :) She said his muscle tone is a bit weaker than typical kids but it's excellent compared to most DS babies and that most of his skills - kicking his legs a lot, bringing hands to midline, turning his head while lifting it during tummy time, tracking objects with his eyes, grasping objects with both hands - are very advanced for DS babies and not too far behind typical kids. She gave us some tips to help encourage him to reach upward more and to prevent him from compensating with his shoulders while holding his head upright but overall she was really pleased with how well he's doing.

The ST eval was even better - there were 5 areas she tested and scored on (I forget them all lol, it was like Cognitive, Social, etc) and he's actually measuring above average at the level of a 3 month old or above (and that's on a scale of typical kiddos, not DS babies) - smiling, cooing, making and holding eye contact, getting excited or irritated at loud sharp noises and happy with voices, looking for voices, and of course feeding well hehe!

The therapists did bring up something that I brought up with the ENT - the possibility of silent reflux - because of how gassy/fussy he was the whole time and a few times it looked like he was going to spit up but then he swallowed it back down. The ENT said he didn't think he had it, but we went ahead and made an appointment with the only pedi gastro here to be safe (out of network of course, but what can you do?) His appointment is on 3/20. The PT also said he seems to have some abdominal muscle separation (diastasis) which we also already figured because of his big Buddha belly, and the pedi didn't seem to think anything of it but she said we should really push him to monitor it and make sure the muscles close up over time so we'll bring that up again at his 4 month check-up.

So all in all he's doing great and I'm very glad we can focus on the areas he needs help in. It makes me very hopeful that if we work hard we can minimize any delays he might have. We're so proud of him! ^_^

To top it off, the little ham must've known he had a critical audience - he chose this morning to go from occasional, hard-to-get smiles to full-blown easy grins! And what a cute grin it is!