Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Physical Therapy

Riley had his first PT visit yesterday. He was such a happy baby for Heidi (the PT) and she kept commenting on how well he was doing. It certainly made me feel proud to have her cooing over him. Right away he showed her how he tries to grasp for objects, and most of the time gets it. Then she looked at his head and measured it. She noted that his left ear is slightly forward, which I knew already. Then she examened his hips and his arms. His hips looked great but his right sholder is tense, most likely because he was breech and thus scrunched a little awuardly in those last few weeks.

Then we talked about my pregnancy and his birth, and as soon as I mentioned that he was born at 36 weeks she said, "So he is actually 4 months not 5 then". I breathed a big sigh of relief that I wasn't going to have to argue developmental age with her! YA for well educated people! While most people would say that 36 weeks isn't a premie it is in fact pre-term. Since development starts at conception and not birth, being born a month early is in fact a big deal when you are still counting a child's age in months, it won't be such a big deal when he is 4 or 5 but for now it is impacting where he is developmentally.

She said that for a four month old he is developmentally on track and even slightly ahead. He sits better than many 5 months olds that she sees and only does the taco fold when he get tired. He knows his center and crosses the midline well, I can thank all the baby wearing and baby yoga for that. He is reaching and grasping at a 4 month level, but is slightly behind in rolling. She said this is because of the reflux (not enough tummy time) and because of his tight shoulders and neck.

She gave me a list of things to do with him:
- Put him on his tummy every time I go to put him down EXCEPT for the 30 minutes after he eats and when he is sleeping.
- A underarm/shoulder stretch that looks like a salsa move to me
- And two different things for his neck: one being a stretch and the other is just getting him to look in one direction more than the other.

Things she wants me to keep doing: Baby Wearing! Baby Yoga, and the Bumbo seat. I was thrilled for her to okay the bumbo seat because I know it keeps the pressure off his head, which will help correct his flat spot and his forward left ear.

In the long term she said the only thing she is concerned about is that forward ear. The inner ear is what helps us balance and having that slightly forward can and will negitivley impact his development in the future. It can delay the balance needed for walking and other gross motor skills. So anything that keeps him off his back or strengthens his neck mucles is a good thing, including the bumbo and baby wearing.

I have four weeks to work everyday on the things she asked and then she will see him again. She seemed really positive that he will be caught up with his peers by a year if not sooner. Over all it was a great visit and I am so glad I pushed for the referral.

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