without a definite route

getting all catched up

on February 8, 2007

i’ve had some questions about emmit’s developmental delays and i thought i’d ‘splain every thing here. 

referral: at emmit’s 15-month appointment in november, we asked our doc what she thought about emmit’s apparent speech delay. she said that there wasn’t any reason to wait to get therapy, but there also wasn’t a reason to not wait, either. she said that emmit is very obviously a happy and healthy little guy and she wasn’t concerned that he wouldn’t catch up, but she gave me a referral for therapy because what the heck. i called and was assigned the friendly and helpful intake coordinator, michelle. 

assessment:  indiana first steps sent two very lovely therapists to our house to play with the boy for 2-hours. i was pretty excited about them coming, but then i got nervous. it was some pretty intense playing and they would stop to make notes and score him on a scale that still doesn’t make sense to me. it was weird to have someone grade your baby. let me tell you, he was exhausted at the end of the whole thing. like, diva-esque falling to floor and rolling around. it was pretty silly. 

a few days later, we received the report in the mail along with an appointment so michelle could explain everything and to work on the plan, if we wanted to pursue therapy. the report was handwritten and some of it was total chicken scratch. that made me crazy. at one point, while trying to make out some words, i came across “cognitive delay” and i spent the rest of the evening pretty much near or in tears. i mean, that sounded pretty serious to me and the fact that i had to decode it somehow made it worse.  i relaxed a bit the next day once i started thinking about how interconnected everything is and about how if he’s not talking then he’s not demonstrating some things that he would have to demonstrate for us to know what his cognitive level was. or, to try to actually make some sense, if he wasn’t using words (= speech delay), he wasn’t putting words together to form sentences (= cognitive delay). i decided to not freak out until it was time to freak out. 

the plan: when we met with michelle, she assured us that there was nothing to worry about, but that she realized how freaky it can be. so far, them folks at the first steps are real nice. we went over the report and she confirmed the whole interconnected thing. we talked about our goals and what we wanted to do. so we are starting some therapy next week – speech (for the talking), physical (for the walking and standing up without something to pull up on) and developmental (sort of a gestalt approach to all of it) – and it should be fun. of course, he started walking just three days after this meeting so now he just has to stand without assistance and then he’s caught up on the physical stuff. 

we got to choose the therapists we wanted to work with from their resumes. michelle had no idea what we are capable of in terms of the over-thinking. there was only one speech therapist so that one was easy. then there were five physical therapists. josh had a bad experience, years ago, with a socko fan named molly so we rejected the molly. then i wondered if we wanted someone older with more experience or someone younger who just got out of school and might know new stuff. there was one african man, one african woman and one indian woman. we had a whole conversation about diversity in emmit’s life. we settled it in about, seriously, 15-minutes. then, she handed us twelve sheets of paper for the developmental therapist. criminy. josh asked if any of them did weekend hours and that actually narrowed it down to four people. and then he saw that one of them teaches at a montessori school and he thought that was interesting. i thought that was as good as any other reason. michelle said that it doesn’t usually take as long as it took us, but she also complimented us for being so involved. not sure if “involved” is a code word for “annoying,” but michelle never let on.  and, really? a lot of parents aren’t so involved? that’s totally bizarre to me. what is more important?

just a little something else: the therapists observed that emmit’s eyes didn’t seem to track together. we had taken him to a pediatric ophthalmologist (say that fast five times) back in september on accounta his eyes looked all crossy. the doc said that everything looked healthy, but to bring him back in a few months. so i had already made an appointment to follow up. the therapists said that the crossy eyes could be affecting his depth perception, which would affect balance and whether or not he could stack blocks on top of each other (life as a kid is so hard! all the expectations!). the appointment was two days ago and the doc said that there’s definitely something going on and to bring him back in may. at which point, we’ll be able to determine if he needs glasses or a patch (mark my words: pirate clothes every. single. day.) or, potentially, eye muscle surgery, which isn’t nearly as scary as it sounds.

all in all, we are very positive about the munchkin’s development. as i’ve said before, he’s such an oberver and i think that has as much to do with things as anything else. i think therapy is going to be a blast. i’ll keep y’all posted.


3 responses to “getting all catched up

  1. lolly says:

    glad to hear it all went well. you two are ridiculous with the over thinking thing:) but i have to agree with the whole,” how in the world do we choose therapists that we know nothing about from a piece of paper?” first steps were really helpful with sophia with her neck and i thought that they were all very nice. the only issue i had was that they tend to overkill with therapists. they had sophia signed up for a physical , occupational, developmental and speech therapist. i had to really discuss the need for all of that therapy. she was one. most one year olds don’t need a speech therapist yet. she had reached all the developmental mile stones for he corrected age (premature birth), so i didn’t understand what the need for the dev and occ therapists were for. turns out that they just feel the need to cover their booties in case there’s an unhappy parent. so in the end, YOU know what’s best for your boy. i whole heartedly agree with the eye issue perhaps hindering some of the physical milestones and that just makes emmit really smart. he’s totally saying,” dude, i’m not walking across someplace i can’t even bring into focus!!” good for him! i love that boy!

  2. cd says:

    I don’t think you’re over-thinking at all; he’s your child, and no one else is going to think as much about him as you two should. I’ll take a parent who over-thinks instead of one who under-thinks (much more common) any day!

    Here’s a thought about the eyes issue: Ask your doctor if he will refer you to Riley Hospital. Despite popular belief, you don’t have to have some life-threatening condition to go there, and they are top-notch (and likely won’t take the “let’s wait and see, come back in X months” approach).

    Emmit is extraordinarily fortunate to have parents who love him and who are as smart as you two. Don’t let the comments of others (and there will ALWAYS ben comments!) make you doubt yourselves.

  3. justin says:

    hey- i was perusing my nerd craft websites and found this.

    it reminded me of your memory ball so I thought you might like to see:


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