Monday, October 25, 2010

Preemie Brain

After many sleepless nights worrying about the results of Elizabeth's psychological/educational assessment the results are back. I think we have both spent this past month bracing ourselves for the worst as we have been really worried that Elizabeth will be diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. Since she has started school she has been doing some pretty odd things (spinning things, constantly moving and I am finding her on her own most often when I pick her up from school). We of course have been very observant of 'symptoms' lately and I am sure we have been on Elizabeth when she does something a bit odd (sorry Elizabeth).
The results did not show Elizabeth is on the Autism spectrum at all (YIPEE). So now we can breathe a huge sigh of relief and know that we have a really quirky kid who now will be allowed to play with her dinosaurs again (I had them banned as she REALLY likes to play with them). She did show pretty typical features associated with ADHD which is not much of a shocker for us she is pretty distractable and still quite impulsive. Similar to previous testing she continues to have problems with visual spatial skills and ranged from the 9-28 %. Her fine motor skills were below the 9 % which we know; despite her best efforts printing is still difficult for her to do because of her shaky uncoordinated movements. Her language skills made us proud as they were ranked at 7 years 10 months for both receptive and expressive but her poor articulation of words still makes things difficult for her as not everyone understands her.
The recommendations for her include; an FM unit which we luckily have, a computer/assistive device for typing as printing is far too difficult and time consuming and close supervision to ensure her safety. The Psychologist said because of her advanced language skills Elizabeth hopefully can compensate for her visual spatial skills as she can understand through description of problems as opposed to looking at them. Her thoughts were Elizabeth should do fine with an academic program with the appropriate support.
We are pretty happy with the results of her testing, the things we had been warned about when she was born regarding ADD, visual processing were present so all in all she has a pretty 'typical' preemie brain.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Baby Chair

We have been working with Elizabeth's school and her OT to find seating at school for both the floor and at her desk. Her teacher is really noticing Elizabeth's movements especially on the floor at circle time and feels she is not paying attention. Elizabeth is having a hard time sitting on the floor and has been lying down or sitting 'w' style which are both things that she does not do at home. Her OT feels that she is paying attention but she just cannot stay balanced and the slightest movement has her falling over. We have noticed her movements have increased and she is pretty busy at home too, when we catch her she tries to justify her increased activity, she told us the other day she was just 'making obstacle courses' and when she was spinning something it was 'a tornado for her ponies'. I have been thinking about trying brushing again to see if it will calm her as she is pretty excitable lately and I seem to remember she did this last year at the beginning of school.
To keep Elizabeth still on the floor her OT had suggested to try to the childrite seat which really is the bigger version of the Bumbo. I had my reservations about this chair but I thought I would let Elizabeth see what she thinks. I asked Elizabeth how she likes her new chair and her response was 'it is a nice fall color, it is comfy and it is a baby chair'. Her teacher says it does keep her still which is great but I don't think that alone is worth her feeling like a baby or the potential of having her friends make fun of her.
We are really grateful to have a great OT who is already noticing Elizabeth's needs and who is flexible and listens to our concerns and Elizabeth's wants. This week we will try some more options and hopefully we will find something appropriate to keep her supported and maybe a bit more still.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

We had a beautiful Thanksgiving weekend, the sun was shining and the rain stayed away. We spent lots of time outside picking pumpkins, pumpkin bowling, visiting a conservation park and having turkey dinner with our family. What I really noticed this weekend was how much more endurance Elizabeth has, she walked for a good part of the day and did not even complain about her knee pain at night. We have also noticed Elizabeth is able to step up and down curbs on her own and her falling is less frequent.
We definitely this year are thankful for all the progress Elizabeth has made and how hard she perseveres. We are also very thankful for our family and friends, they are there when we need a hand.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Fall is here

I guess we can officially say good-bye to summer, the cool weather is a reminder that fall is here. One thing we really look forward to in the summer is going to the local farms for apple and pumpkin picking. The warm baked treats they sell are pretty good too. It is a good way to get fresh air and any way to get Elizabeth active without her realizing I am working her is the best. I love seeing how each year her endurance has improved as this year she was able to walk through the orchard and only needed a wagon ride back to the car, last year she spent a fair bit of time in the wagon.
Elizabeth is of course already talking about Halloween and told her teacher her favorite thing about Halloween is 'treats, treats, treats'. Elizabeth has already convinced me to decorate the house for Halloween and on Saturday morning we woke up to a child yelling 'boo' with cat ears and a tail.