Drake had a pretty good assessment. The team consisted of a physical therapist (his one from the NICU, I was GLAD to see her), audiologist, speech therapist, occupational therapist and neonatologist. All of his tests were testing him at his adjusted age of 6 months, 2 weeks not his actual age of 8 months, 3 weeks.
His daddy and I were a bit shocked when they asked us to participate in a research study following neonates born at less than 33 weeks gestation who were on extended ventilation. We don’t think of it that way as he was only intubated for about 6 hours, but apparently all the time on CPAP and nasal cannula counts toward that as well.
He was a bit too young for the hearing test to be conclusive so the audiologist will retest him in 6 months. He did ok with parts, hated their high chair, and didn’t want to have anything to do with one part of it. Stubborn little dude!
He excelled at fine motor skills like picking up cheerios with both hands and grabbing some blocks and other objects. The occupational therapist had a good time wrestling the cheerios away from him. They rated him at 7-8 months his actual age.
His speech/communication they rated at 5 months. He wasn’t feeling particularly outgoing as it was his nap and eating time, so I think this will be better the next time. He is very animated and knows how to get his point across, but there is a specific progression to the babble that they want to see. So that was his one weak point.
His gross motor skills they rated at 5 months. Mainly due to the weakness I was most concerned about, his truncal tone (core/abdomen). He sits ok with support, but with all his rolling and attempting to crawl I was really concerned with his slumping and lack of interest in trying to sit on his own. So this diagnosis is truncal low tone which she said was typical in preemies born at that low of birth weight and gestation and gave us some exercise to work on with him.
For now they want to see him again in 6 months, and we will also be getting a detailed report along with his pediatrician.
We also got to drop off a thank you card to the NICU staff, something that was good for mommy’s heart. 🙂