This morning we had an appointment at the Developmental Clinic with Aiden & Ryan. When they were discharged from the NICU, they were considered high risk newborns and they were watched by the High Risk Clinic run by Cohen's Children's Hospital. When they turned 6 months old they graduated to the Developmental division. In short, the doctors at this clinic follow their development and whether or not they are hitting they milestones based on their adjusted age. Since they were born 3.5 months early, their adjusted age is 8 months, even though they are actually 11.5 months old. At the end of each appointment, the doctors thoroughly explain their findings and make recommendations as to what additional services they think the boys need. These appointments always make me so nervous.
Here are today's stats & findings:
Aiden weighs 16 lbs. and is 27 3/4" long. This puts him at the 25-50% for weight and 70% for height, based on his adjusted age. He scored at an 8.5 month level for motor skills and at 5.5 months for speech. This means that he is right on track for motor, but his speech is delayed mainly because of his hearing, and also probably a little because of his cleft. Since he just got his hearing aids last week, it will take him some time to catch up. And then hopefully, once he gets his cleft repaired his speech will improve that much more. Their recommendation was to get Aiden some Hearing Therapy in addition to the Speech that he already receives. So, back to Early Intervention for another evaluation and hopefully he will get approved for services in the next month or so.
Ryan weighs 16 lbs. 2 oz. and 27 1/2" long. He falls in the same percentiles as Aiden for his adjusted age. Ryan scored at a 7.5 month level for motor skills for his left hand only and at 7 months for speech. The reason they noted his left hand only is that Ryan has a hard time using the right side of his body. His arm, hand and leg are all tight on that side, and so is his neck. We suspect this has to do with the fact that his Hydrocephalus affected the left side of his brain tremendously. We constantly work on getting him to be aware of his right hand. We massage it and place toys in it. He's gotten much better over the last few months, but he still has a long way to go. The recommendation for him was to increase his Physical Therapy from twice a week to three times. He was also approved for Occupational Therapy once a week, though we are going to push for more. Hopefully, once they work out his kinks on the right side of his body, he will be able to learn to roll over, sit up, crawl, and eventually walk.
This is a lot of information to process, but all in all it was a successful appointment. The boys have made a lot of progress since our last appointment in June when Aiden scored at 6 months for motor & 4 months for speech and Ryan scored at 4 months for motor and 6 months for speech. And progress is all that we ask for. As we near their first birthday, it's getting a little tougher to dodge questions about their development. I mean, most one year olds are walking, and my guys haven't even crawled yet. But I guess my simple answer to this is that Aiden & Ryan aren't most one year olds. They're special. And they will grow up knowing that.
Edited to add: We also woke up with our first cold this morning. Aiden has the world's snottiest nose going on. Poor guy was pretty cranky too. It makes me sad because we've been so good at keeping them healthy. We just have to watch him and make sure he doesn't get worse. With his history of requiring oxygen, getting sick can sometimes turn into a hospital visit and we definitely don't want that. Please think of him and send some get well vibes our way!