Monday, October 14, 2013

Babies / Toddlers

When you have preemies, you are perpetually in baby age limbo. It's tough to figure out where you are, where they should be, how old they are, what size the babies wear... and planning is a whole different story. 

When we go out in public the easiest answer for age is "15 months but they were born a little early" when you notice a look of sheer confusion. 

The little dragons are still below the third percentile for growth, according to their actual age (15 and a half months). On the positive side they are following their curves so their doctor isn't concerned about anything just yet. 

For example, with clothes: Maisie is fitting well into 9 month outfits but can still wear 6 month in some separates. James can still wear 3 month pants and 6 month outfits, though he is getting closer to being able to fit into 9 month. I put him into his Christmas outfit the other day (a 3-6 month suit) and it fit perfectly, with the exception of the pants- which he was swimming in.

The little dragons are growing out of baby stage. Today I disassembled their infant rockers, put away their piano play mat and collected other things that have been dormant for a few months. As the babies have become more mobile and started breaking down the baby barricades, they are less interested in their toys and more fascinated with bowling with cans of beans from our grocery trip. 

Our therapists through DDRC have been very good working with the babies. They understand their prematurity and have worked closely to help us achieve our goals.

Recently though, our main physical therapist started mentioning that she thought James had increased tone. She said on more than one occasion that she recommended we see a physiatrist to help manage therapy appointments and other doctors. We mentioned this to Dr Jim, and he was surprised; he thinks James is doing well given his actual and adjusted age and is making progress. We inquired again with our PT and decided to make an appointment with the Spasticity Clinic at PSL. 

The Spasticity Clinic is a team of doctors that meets monthly and evaluates children who may be at risk for developmental delays or disabilities. Our neurosurgeon is on the team, along with a neurologist we knew in the NICU, a physiatrist/pediatrician, OT/PT, orthopedic surgeon, etc. We went in this week and the consensus of the team was that James seems to be doing well, and they want him to continue to do PT as that will be the most help for him to progress. At this point in time there is no indication from any of these specialists that James would need to have further evaluation/treatment for his tone issues.

In a nutshell, the DDRC evaluates kids based on their actual ages and gives no adjustment. We will do our annual evaluation next week and we will see what they say about both Maisie and James. For now, DDRC is the most convenient way to get therapy in the home on a schedule that we determine. Hopefully we can make it work for our babies / toddlers. 

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