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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Back To Reality

Lately things have been going really well with the twins. They're starting to smile and laugh. They'll follow sounds and noises (sometimes) and even look at toys (sometimes). I almost forgot that they were preemies. They're acting more like 7 week babies, like they should have been.

But of course, reality had to set in eventually.

This week we had our assessment with Early Intervention. We met with an occupational therapist and social worker to evaluate the twins on their development. This will help us stay on top of their development so we can pick up on any delays early and hopefully, work through them to keep them on track with their age group. They also screen for more serious developmental issues and cerebral palsy so I was a little anxious about the appointment.

We had a great social worker and occupational therapist who walked us through our benefits, concerns, issues I had seen so far, and where we would go in the future with their development. The evaluation went really well, but the results were a big slap in the face of reality that I have preemies who will require a lot more attention and help, not just for medical needs, but for their development as well.

At the end, the therapist gave them an age at where their development was in certain categories. Each category the twins scored as low as 16 days old to 2 months and 20 days old. So in some areas they were behind, in other areas they were well ahead of their adjusted age. She didn't expect them to preform any greater than a 7 week old, because that's where they should be. All of their development the first 3 months of their lives should have taken place in my belly.

It was no surprise their best scores came from Jack's social skills, he was smiling and laughing and having a good old time during the whole eval, and Mia's motor skills since she's sitting up almost unassisted already and picking herself up off of her belly. As far as toys though, they ranked low. We obviously need to play with more toys. They would follow faces and people and look for faces, but you put a toy in their face, they suddenly became completely uninterested.

The therapist did say, she was only watching them at that chunk of time. They might react differently to the toys at a different point in the day and score higher. She also said it could be personality and what they're interested in. So she didn't see any really serious concerns, just some possible things to keep an eye on for the future.

Overall, they're going to need more evals and therapy, especially for Jackson to help him with his motor skills, which are far far far less developed than Mia's. As hard as it is to think your child needs some therapy, it didn't really surprise me. As I've seen Mia develop, Jack just hasn't been keeping up. That doesn't mean he won't catch up. He caught up and surpassed her in weight gain really quickly, so one day he could just figure it out and catch back up. But still, you want your child to be healthy and where they're supposed to be, so there is a bit of disappointment in hearing otherwise.

The good news was that their muscle development and tone don't show any signs of cerebral palsy and there were no serious concerns developmentally.

The biggest thing for me though was just that for all this time, I'd be treating my babies like normal babies. What they can't do, I just assumed they'd start to do sooner or later. But in reality, they're preemies. They have big concerns. They need a lot of work and attention. I'm so lucky I get to stay home with them and I can work with them one-on-one every day to help them catch up. I don't mean to sound like I'm upset that my kids aren't advanced and in the smart babies group, I'm proud of them every day for just making it to where they are. A few months ago, I wasn't even sure we'd make it this far. I know they'll get to where they need to be. As long as they're happy and healthy, I'll be happy too. If they have delays, we'll work hard to catch up and keep up with their age group. They're strong kids so I know they'll be able to get to where they need to be.

So that's our early intervention story. I know a lot of you have asked about how the appointment went, so here's more details than the "fine" or "they're alright" I probably texted you ;)

They got healthy report cards at their doctors appointment and eye appointment, so they're heading in the right direction overall, we just have a few kinks to work out along the way.

Our next challenge, figuring out their reflux issues! One step at a time though...

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