Saturday, April 16, 2011

Lots of great news!

Some very exciting updates to share today. Theodore had his two assessments over the past two weeks, and he did amazingly well! He is just about fully caught up in all areas except speech, and is even ahead in others.

On Monday we had his six month review with the Early Start program. He has done so well since his original assessment that he no longer qualifies for the Infant Education program! So our educator, Erika, will be coming for the rest of this month, but then we will end that appointment. We are not leaving the Early Start program completely; we will do another assessment in six months, and if our insurance starts denying payment for PT or speech, then they may cover it. The review team (Erika, her boss (who did the assessment last month), and our service coordinator) were thrilled with his progress. Some areas where he excelled in the assessment were fine motor skills (where he tested in the 22 month range at 18 months old) and Attention and Memory, where he tested in the 28 month range). In terms of speech, at his original assessment he tested at 77% below his age level, but now he is only 29% behind - a huge improvement. There were a few other areas that tested a bit lower, but even in the few weeks since the assessment he has achieved those goals (self-help and gross motor) or they're ones we're not focusing on (for example, we have not worked on utensils as the goal is just to get him to eat! Nevertheless, he's been experimenting with a fork and getting quite good at it).

Last week we also had an assessment with the Behavior and Development department at Lucille Packard. This was similar to the original Early Start assessment, but done by a doctor and resident, rather than an occupational therapist. Despite being tired (nap time came and went during the appointment) and teething very badly, Theodore performed admirably. They declared him overall at a 18.6 month level, which is pretty much exactly how old he was. The only area they had concern about was speech, which they tested out a little lower than the Early Start assessment did. Overall the doctor told me we had a "cognitively normal little boy", which was great to hear! She was pleased by all the "chasing" we've done and said it has clearly benefited him in catching up.

We also followed up with the GI clinic yesterday, where Theodore finally broke the 20lb barrier! He weighed in at 20lbs 2oz, and just a smidge under 31 inches. Since our last appointment it worked out to a gain of 5oz a month, and the expected range at his age is 4-10oz/month, so he's falling nicely into that (though everyone agrees it would be good if he could do a little catch-up gaining too). I admit I'd been pretty upset that the week before he'd weighed in an ounce under 20lbs, but now we've broken that milestone and I am very relieved to have it behind us. He is an extremely active child so getting enough calories into him is a full-time job!

That's all the medical news! Theodore continues to do great in day-to-day life as well. He has been working on a lower canine for a few weeks, off and on, so that has caused some drama, but hopefully it will be through soon, poor boy. We've been keeping very busy with Gym Kids, PT, speech (which we are now attending twice a week), and outings. We've become regulars at the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo, which is a very sweet little place with a few animals (two bobcats, a goose, a peacock, two raccoons, etc.) and a fun indoor area with "science" type installations. It's great for his age group and ability, and we've been four times in the last month! We've also been trying out lots of new parks; I received a brochure that listed all the parks in Sunnyvale, so we've been striking out down the list, sight unseen. Some have been duds, but we discovered a beautiful open space park that was lots of fun to run around in.

Some nature appreciation at Baylands Park

I've also signed him up for a sports class that starts in May. It's for ages 1.5 to 3 years, and apparently will teach them about basketball, soccer, etc. And also in May, we're going to Vancouver for four days! Theodore's Auntie Catherine is having an engagement party, and we're very excited to go attend.

Lots of text, so I'll end for now and get on with the pictures and videos! I almost exclusively take photos with my phone these days, so I apologize that sometimes the quality isn't the best, as even though it's a great camera, it's hard for it to keep up with a busy toddler!

Playing with a balloon at a wedding we attended:

Counting in the park:

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