We had the appt with the neonatologist, and they completed the first steps evaluation. Owen does not meet the criteria of need for first steps services. In a couple areas of the eval, he showed some need, but not enough to warrant services, and nothing recognized outside the norm for a preemie. He has some minor muscle tone issues, but nothing that they feel like he won't continue to work through as he progresses developmentally. Based on his corrected age, he is on target with skills like grasping objects, tracking objects with his eyes, having centered muscle movements (like bringing his hands together at his chest), responding to interactions with others by cooing and making eye contact, responding to sounds, etc.
We are so relieved that he is on target with his corrected age. They shared things we can do at home to help him continue with progress. They also explained that he will be reassessed at the next appt in 2 mos to make sure he is still on track. The downside of this is that without first steps, there is no speech therapist and no nutritionist to assist with feeding. The first steps evaluator explained that his needs with feeding are medically, and not therapeutically, necessitated. Therefore, these services cannot be attained through first steps. We followed her explanation with “well then what” questions, and we asked the doc about having another swallow study. If he’s not aspirating any longer, than we feel he’ll be fine with feeding; as long as its with thinner liquids.
The swallow study is Thursday! We’re hoping, praying, and keeping everything crossed, that he has developed enough, and recovered enough from the reflux, to be clear of any aspiration…. We’ll keep the blog updated!
He weighs 8lbs and 5oz. He is 20 and ½ inches long. His head circumference is fitting. He’s moving in the right direction, and pretty quickly, on all the graphs with the normal developmental curve. We’re so excited to see him moving along. He’s such a strong little guy!
Finally getting to meet or be held by those that love him....