There are four options for early intervention care in our city. We couldn't get into The Champion Centre, which is near our home, and has a fantastic reputation. In fact we only had one option, all of the others were full. I guess the benefit of the program we ended up under, was that they came to you, instead of you going to them.
Reuben (4 years) and Isaac (6 months)
When Isaac was 14 weeks old, I went back to work part-time. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do. So he was in the nursery at the same preschool Reuben was at. This was great, as it meant that Reuben could pop over and visit his little brother. Also meant that I only had one drop off and pickup each day. Reuben just adores his little bro.
He was seen by the speech language therapist and developmental therapists until he was nine months old. At that time he was discharged from that part of early intervention because he was less than 25% behind a typical child. I wasn't very impressed, but figured that if there were problems going forward he'd be able to get more help.
Reuben (4 1/2 years) and Isaac (12 months)
So we did the appointments, and Isaac made really good progress. When he first laughed, the sound was awesome, and the feelings that it generated were almost overwhelming. Fortunately he has been able to eat regular food, although he doesn't do well with anything that requires much chewing, and has started talking.
Physically he has made steady, albeit slow, progress. Watching him learn to roll over, sit, developing through to commando crawling, bum shuffling, and then back to crawling. It was progress, but I was starting to wonder if he would ever walk. I know that I should have been grateful that he was progressing, and we weren't facing worse case scenario.
Isaac (17 months) at preschool
So, two months ago when we had our appointment with the Neo-Natal Consultant (NICU babies usually get "upgraded" to Paediatrics between 2 and 3 years of age), I decided that it was time that we got some action on Isaac's development. I went in with quite a list of things that I wanted to have checked out. Since then Isaac has had an EEG to determine if he is having absent seizures, seen an opthomologist for possible lazy/cross eye. He drools quite a bit, I have found that he doesn't like eating food that has to be chewed very much and a lot of his words are difficult to understand. We are currently waiting on a referral to speech language therapy.
Isaac has gotten to the point where he can stand if he's leaning against something and walks around holding onto furniture. If he tries walking by himself he is very unsteady. The issue is that the brain damage he suffered is in the area that affects balance. He is now seeing his physiotherapist more regularly and got a walker about 3 weeks ago. This has made an enourmous difference to his walking, balance, social interaction and confidence. He loves the independence it's given him, and can't get enough of going to the mall.
First day of cruising at preschool with his walker
There are currently vacancies at the Champion Centre. Tomorrow there will be a meeting to determine if we can get Isaac in. I'm praying that he will be accepted, as I believe that they will help him to progress even further.