I know you’ve been probably going crazy waiting to hear about the results of our developmental clinic, so here we go….
Overall, both boys did good. No additional therapy needed at this time, and we don’t have to go back to the clinic for another year. Why am I not jumping up and down screaming with joy from these results? Well, it’s how they came to those results that just keeps me wondering about the whole process.
As I mentioned in my previous post, the therapists (physical, occupational, and speech) split the boys up, so they could evaluate them one at a time. I stayed with my big guy, while my husband went with my little guy.
First, it was time for Physical therapy. The PT watched as he pushed a big ball around, walked, ran, and played with toys. She then wanted to see him climb stairs. Hmmmm. We live in a ranch, and the only stairs lead to the basement, which are gated off. So, needless to say, he wasn’t sure what to do with stairs. He wanted to crawl up them, but she wanted him to walk and hold her hand or the wall to balance. This did not make him happy. After a few tries, though, he did get the hang of it. He did, however, want to either be lifted off the top or jump off. My little lazy daredevil.
There was then a joyous reunion in the hallway, as my little guy was waiting for my big guy to come out of the room. They ran around each other, spoke a little “twin” language, then we had to separate them for the next round.
Next, my big guy had OT and speech. There were four women in the room, the therapists, then a fellow and a student. They had my son sit in a chair in the middle of the room in front of a table. To say he was freaked out would have been an understatement. How would you like 4 strangers staring at you and expecting you to do things you’ve never done all while being judged? Yeah, me neither. He is usually the big talker of the two, but he hardly said anything. I sat next to him on the floor to make him feel a little more comfortable, then the OT and the Student took turns asking him to do things, respond to things, or say things.
Here’s an example:
They set out 4 items…a comb, a baby doll, a spoon, and a plastic glass. They then asked him to show them which was the baby. They asked him to comb the baby’s hair, then use the spoon, and the glass. Here’s my problem with this part….first, he’s a boy. We don’t have any “baby” dolls that they play with, so how would he recognize one? He did point to his own ear when she asked him where the baby’s ear was, which I thought was pretty good. Luckily, we had been playing with a comb last week, so he did recognize that. I would like to point out, though, a comb isn’t really a baby toy nor something we would have had around since they hardly have any hair, but I happened to be combing coconut oil thru my other twins’ hair to get rid of cradle cap that has come back. The medal spoon and clear plastic cup aren’t anything they are used to either…we use brightly colored baby spoons, bottles, and sippy cups. He did know how to use them anyways, so Ha!
My point on the whole standardized developmental testing is, while it may be useful to get an overall picture of development, there are many areas in which I don’t think any baby’s whole potential is seen. If my first full-term child had been tested this way, would he have scored any differently? Or would he have needed some sort of therapy? I’m not sure. I do know that he would have been just as freaked out, and probably wouldn’t have said a word. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am completely in favor of early intervention to help with physical development or if there is a glaring cognition problem that effects a child’s eating or communication methods. BUT, as we all know, every child develops in their own time and in their own way. I’m happy to have another set of eyes looking at my babies’ development, but I’m also glad this clinic trusts that I know my babies, and don’t have any concerns.
I’ve saved the best news for last. At the end of the clinic, all of the specialists got together, along with the nurse and Neonatologist (who happened to be the doctor that was their for my babies’ delivery.) He asked if I had any health concerns, to which I asked, “Is there anything I should be concerned with from their time in the NICU? ” He said, “No. There are no lasting effects from their prematurity. They are doing great.”
Wow. Fabulous. I was one very, very happy mommy.