Addie went to Early Intervention for her physical interview. She automatically qualifies for the program based on her diagnosis, but they like to get together to check where her skills are.
She’s 3 months… what skills?
I began the interview by handing the therapists toys that she likes, as she was completely disinterested in the ones that they wanted her to track and follow. The red and yellow rubber “toys” she presented to her looked more medical than playful; I was glad that I brought along a few of her favorites. Once she proved her skills there, we moved onto a few other things, then questions about her eating. These confused me, as they were asking about how she takes pureed foods. I’m sorry… what? She’s 3 months- update your questions to coincide with what the AMA guidelines are for feeding.
After more noise making and eye tracking, a little bit of reaching, and a whole lot of “prayer hands” (where she holds her hands in a prayer-like fashion), the therapists asked if I could pull her up by her arms to bring her into a seated position, which helps check her abdominal strength. Um, nope. Have you people seen her head size, which we discussed at length, and how I can’t let it snap back? She holds her arms and legs up in the air, she’s working her abs, let’s leave it at that.
So, we moved on. Sort of. One of the last questions included me holding her, facing me, in a slightly seated position cradled in my arms. From this point, I would drop her back, “just a bit”, to see if she startles.
You want me to drop her to see if she still has the startle reflex, which I said she did? Trust me. She does. And I’m not about to risk her head flapping back to prove it.
In the end, it was a fine visit and I agreed to worth with a therapist to come up with a care plan, but for now, that just consists of monitoring her motor skills.
I provided the therapists with a copy of the most up-top-date chart of where her motor skills should fall as an achondroplastic, and let them know I expect her scores from now on to be biased toward these age-appropriate, according to experts in dwarfism, milestones.
As it is, Addie scored at 3 to 4 months for each group, except social and verbal skills, where she is at a 4 month and 5 month mark, respectively. This was no surprise to Mima (my mom) or Daddy, as they both know how much I love face-to-face communication, always making eye contact with people I am in conversation with, as well as the fact that I love to talk. And I do so a lot!
It’s nice to see that being sure to speak with Addie everyday, encourage her to engage us in conversation and always make eye contact with her, whether she is playing with a new toy, getting dressed and counting her snaps, or in between the lines in a story- we are enhancing her communication skills. I hope that she can keep up with her motor skills, but even if she ends up a big behind from AH kids, I know that she will reach her goals!
I do hope to add a few things to her goals, like looking at her toys more, but she just loves the social interaction she gets from the people around her, often losing focus on the object at hand and choosing to look at the people near her… unless there’s a ceiling fan.
A BIG congratulations to our tiny little girl for making her milestones thus far, and being the little chatterbox that mommy is, too!