Lisa: Screening for Developmental Delays
At Molly’s 9 month pediatrician appointment, she was only scooting (click here to read previous blog post about scooting), she was unable to figure out how to turn herself over when laying on her back and she was still uninterested in self-feeding…in fact we had such an issue with EVERY feeding that we were basically forcing her to eat solid foods every meal by holding her mouth open and spoon feeding her the purees. To say feeding times were challenging would be an understatement.
With all of these red flags, our pediatrician urged us to get Molly screened for developmental delays to see if she qualified for the CA state funded program through the Regional Center. At first, my husband & I were taken back by the recommendation but then we thought long & hard about the benefits of having her screened. We didn’t want to be naive to the fact that she (we) may need help.
We went to a local developmental screening facility and we basically played for 2.5 hours with an occupational therapist & a physical therapist. They went through a gazillion page test, but to Molly she was just having fun playing games with her new friends. They taught us how to hold her legs to encourage her to crawl and then we were pleasantly surprised that they fed her a snack to see how she performed during a feeding first hand. They gave us tips & advice on how to work with her at home…one tip was to let her get down & dirty with her food. Part of a child’s development is exploring different kinds of foods. This sounds self-explanatory, but it hadn’t occurred to us that this would help! The results weren’t shocking, she scored at a 6 month level in self-feeding and in all other areas she scored at age level or above. The one surprising discovery was that they weren’t concerned with her not crawling…she actually scored above her age level in gross motor skills, but they were slightly worried that she wasn’t pulling up on furniture items!
Ok, so here is the funny part…
The day after the screening she started crawling
2 weeks after she started walking, pulling up on furniture items, etc.
We bottle weaned her 3 weeks after the initial screening and she started solely self-fecding
Between walking & self-feeding, she became a little monkey and can move freely from laying on her back to front, crawl, stand up in the middle of the room on her own, etc.
Since the approval process takes a couple weeks, by the time we had our “game plan” discussion with the representative from the Regional Center, Molly had pretty much resolved all the areas of concern on her own. The rep even stated “why am I here?” several times throughout the meeting!
We decided to move forward with the occupational therapy to get assistance with her self-feeding, but we are now faced with the decision of whether or not she really needs it.
This illustrates that every kid really does develop on their own time table AND it never hurts to ask for help! With just a few tips from the therapists, we were able to help Molly move forward in her development!!!! Woo hoo!