Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Making Strides

While at his every other week OT session, Cohen voluntarily got in a swing (unstable), played with toys (no walls), and spun around and around and then asked to do it again! This absolutely would not have happened a few months ago. I was one proud mom. 

Cohen has been going to his OT since he was 10 months old. We noticed fairly early on that he had some behaviors that were just a little different. He always had his arms straight out to the side, didn't sit up, and couldn't focus on anything near him. We often described it as always being "out". He didn't know he had feet, didn't bring his hands together, and was always looking at things that were far away and not focusing on toys etc close to him. Within a few meetings, he was learning new things and making lots of changes. 

As he grew we continued to notice that he had trouble focusing, had poor balance, was clumsy and very sensitive to certain sounds. We attributed it to a poor vestibular system and hoped he would continue to grow out of it. He has come a long, long ways. Awhile back we moved to once a month OT sessions but over the last several months we have been going every other week and it seems to be making a difference. A few months ago he refused to get in any type of swing (other than one of those baby swingset swings) and if we could get him in he would only go in for a few seconds and whimpered and clung onto Susan the whole time. Now he voluntarily climbs in and actually enjoys it! He can (usually) go down stairs well, has been climbing furniture, he even attempted to jump! Seemingly little things, but big things for a little boy who has struggled with physical tasks and balance/planning issues.

I've read some interesting articles and heard from other preemie parents whose children struggle with ADD/ADHD and anxiety. They seem to go together and they seem to be quite common in the preemie population. It makes total sense, it really does. The combination of being born too early before their neurological systems are finished developing, being put in an environment that is anything but soothing and filled with alarms, noise, lights and painful procedures, you can see why a baby/child would struggle with this. Obviously Cohen is too young to be diagnosed with anything like this, but I have been seeing a lot of this in Cohen and as you know, I struggle to know how to help him. It's hard to have the kid who plays alone in a back room or hides in the closet at a playdate. But, it's nice to know that we aren't alone. I struggle with knowing what is a result of being a preemie, what is sensory, and what is just his personality. It's a strange, difficult combination of things to figure out.

He has overcome so, so much and we are just so proud of him. I love seeing his confidence grow as he finds he is able to do more things. He is an amazing little fellow who continually keeps us laughing and on our toes. He has grown leaps and bounds and come a long way and we know he will keep meeting life's challenges with a strong spirit and determination. 

1 comment:

  1. loved reading good for new mamas like me...especially of a preemie...thanks for sharing your sweet all these pictures!