Monday, July 19, 2010

She Qualified

Our morning started with a bang when I got The Chubs up at 8:00 to start our day. I figured I would give her a bath and wash her hair before the evaluation so she didn't look like a white trash, neglected baby (although, maybe that would win the sympathy vote). She doesn't mind baths themselves, but still hates getting out. Even if I immediately transfer her to the towel, she continues to cry for 5 minutes after the 2 second ordeal.

As usual, when I brought her out, she acted as though it was the end of the world. We're talking frantic, high pitched screaming. As she often does, she gagged while crying, and just as I was going to reach for the paci to calm her down, she threw up all over the place. And again, and then one more time. It was very mucousy and so she had a little trouble breathing for a minute. I'm convinced she puked up her entire 5am feeding.

I gave her a little time to recover before I tried feeding her again. We just recently bumped her feedings up to 26 cals/oz from 24 cals/oz and I'm wondering if she isn't tolerating the richer diet as well. I ended up giving her some breastmilk without the added formula for her next feeding to help settle her stomach. She seemed to do fine and actually at 4 1/2 oz (which is a miracle around here these days).

The evaluation went really well and she was in great spirits for it. Everyone was very supportive and encouraging and worked really well with The Chubs. She seemed to dig all the attention. The evaluation lasted about an hour and a half. They observed several areas while she played including fine motor, gross motor, and speech/communication skills. The speech therapist reiterated what we already knew... that she was doing great in the communication department. They said her sitting skills were very good and that overall she was doing fairly well in gross motor. Her fine motor skills are lagging, which is why we brought her in the first place, but they said she has a lot of skills that they can build on to help her improve in that area. In the end she qualified for therapy with feeding (which we desperately need due to her oral aversion), and fine motor skills.

I have to say, I was incredibly relieved. This means that someone will be working with her as long as needed to get her caught up and if something else comes up that she needs help with along the way, since we already qualified for the program, they will simply set us up with a different therapist that specializes in whatever she needs. I feel like I finally have the support I need to help The Chubs reach her fullest potential.

Some observations they had regarding her fine motor skills:
  • She's a little apprehensive to grab and reach for new things. They'll be working on her comfort level with experimenting and touching objects that she is not familiar with
  • The simpler the toy, the better (which kind of goes hand in hand with her apprehension to grab or touch items that are too loud, or feel very different). They had some great very simple items that she grabbed for and held onto for a long time. I think we need to go shopping for some new toys for her.
  • She needs to be able to observe the toy from afar, and from about eye level before she feels comfortable grabbing it. Once she has it she needs time to adjust to it before she brings it to her mouth. A lot of this sensory stuff also sheds some light as to why she doesn't want to open her mouth for a spoon and solids. They will be working with her to get comfortable with the spoon itself and the food before trying to get her to eat from it.
  • Overall she's much more interested in faces and people (which they could clearly gather from our play time), so putting toys up by our face to attract her attention definitely helped. They also recommended putting food on my face for her to grab and experiment with feeling the texture (it grosses me out thinking about it, but hey, whatever works!).
  • She also loves to play with her feet, hands and clothes (all of which she has more control over) so putting toys on her wrists and ankles that make noise might be a good way to transition her into feeling more comfortable playing with objects outside of herself.
We should be hearing from the therapist within the next few weeks. I'm so thankful we're finally getting a service that is free and that they come to our home. I just really hope we like the therapist and that he/she works well with The Chubs.


  1. Ellie, that sounds like just what you wanted to hear. You are going to get help, and you got confirmation that Lexi is doing great in so many areas too. It sounds like they have some good ideas and their observations really make sense. I hope you get everything set up and started as soon as possible- you've done enough waiting!

  2. How wonderful!! Coming from a parent that has a daughter in Early Intervention, they have helped Olivia out in so many ways!! & she loves her therapists that come to our house. I will continue to think of you and hope you can get started ASAP!

  3. Yay! I'm so glad it went well today-- well, with the exception of the bath/gagging episode in the morning. Poor thing. But that's wonderful news that she qualified. It sounds like they've already given you some really good and helpful ideas and I'm sure there will be lots more to come. I think it's adorable that the Chubs is Ms. Social and loves people more than her toys. :) I hope you're feeling somewhat encouraged now, and that things will continue to improve from here on out.

  4. YAH!!!! Such exciting news for you guys! I'm so glad you guys are getting some specialized support and hopefully she can start catching up! I also hope you can breath a little easier and that this takes a little stress off you and Steve! So happy for y'all!!

  5. Great news that the Chubs qualified, as much as you would rather not be in this situation. It sounds like a very thorough evaluation and great to hear she is excelling socially! It is also good to hear that they have already suggested some things for you to try at home, while the rest gets set up. I hope for a wonderful match with the therapist. Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers, especially for good news and moving in the right direction. Keep up the great job, Mama!