Monday, August 04, 2003

Jenelle had her initial occupational therapy (OT) evaluation today with two therapist from The Children's Therapy Center. This evaluation was done so we could get authorization from Regional Center to start Jenelle on OT in addition to her Physical Therapy. OT is therapy for "fine" motor skills.

I'm so ashamed of myself. They asked me to fill out some paperwork, and here I am all ready to write down everything Jenelle "isn't" doing, and the first question on the form was "What are you child's strengths and qualities?" ... WOW, I guess I haven't been thinking in that perspective! It took a long time to think about it, but Jenelle does have strengths and qualities. She is an easy baby, sleeps well, adapts to any environment, and is improving with her physical therapy. She can suck her thumb with the best thumb suckers and is generally a very happy, content baby. And, she is very beautiful, though I'm sure I'm very biased.

Getting back to the evaluation - Jenelle qualifies for OT, not a big surprise there. One of the new things we discovered is that Jenelle has a very thick tongue, and very tight cheek muscles. This is not only going to cause a speech delay, but will inhibit her eating ability. They asked me to spoon feed Jenelle and watched her eat. She eats by using her tongue mostly, and does not use the chewing motions that most babies her age are learning. Jenelle has always been "tongue tied" (where the bottom part of the tongue is fully attached to the bottom of the mouth) and our pediatrician has been against having it cut. They recommended Jenelle have it cut as the tongue tie will only inhibit her ability to progress. Her 9 month well baby check is coming up, so we'll mention it at that time.

Oh yes, and the really great news to report is that Jenelle is finally rolling! She discovered and mastered the ability to roll from her tummy to her back, and sometimes rolls all the way across the room, only stopping when she gets caught on the corner of the couch or TV. I think she is enjoying this as a way to explore and discover her world. Brett and I have noticed that Jenelle's delays have been consistently 4 months behind the time when Jack started doing these things. We can only hope that pattern continues. She has also started to "swim around" on her tummy in an effort of what looks like the beginning stages of crawling. I'm sure that is a ways away, but its great to see such improvement. Physical Therapy is most likely the cause of this great improvement!

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