Lately, I've been stalking my mailbox waiting for Bean's medical assistance approval/denial letter to arrive. It didn't come today. Instead, I received the full report from our visit to the CP Clinic. No, he doesn't have CP, but the clinic sees children with a wide range of conditions and it was a great way to get him evaluated by a team of experts at one time. Our appointment was a couple of weeks ago. You can read about it here.
Anyway, I knew the letter would be coming soon and I knew what it would say. He has low tone and pronates, but doesn't need orthotics. At least not yet. He has pretty severe feeding issues. He is non-verbal at 20-months old. He likely has hyperacusis. He is behind his "typical" peers across the board - otherwise known as global developmental delay. He needs to see even more specialists. He needs to continue with his current therapies, intensify feeding therapy and add speech therapy.
None of this is new to me, but still there's something about seeing it in writing that makes it a little tougher to swallow. It's even tougher because we are scheduled to do his one-year early intervention evaluation on Monday and also because we need to take him to the Childhood Developmental Unit at Children's. Both of those will also result in written reports that will detail just how far behind he is and tell me all the things he isn't doing - as if I don't already know...
I prefer to look at the things he IS doing.
Bean started early intervention services when he was around 8 months old. At that time, he wasn't sitting. Not even close. He showed no interest in toys. None. Zero. Zilch. He gagged on the smoothest of purees and the ONLY food he would eat at that time was pears. He couldn't ride in the car, go out in the wind or be around any abrupt noises without totally melting down. In the last twelve months, Bean has grown and developed in so many ways.
Since last May, Bean has learned to sit, crawl, pull up, cruise, stand up and is now walking 2-5 feet independently many, many times a day. His physical therapist is so surprised and pleased with this progress. She didn't think he would walk until he was two. She was wrong.
Since last May, Bean has developed a love for playing with toys - so much so that we are having to (gently) discipline him for stealing toys from his brother. He particularly enjoys toys that do something or make music.
Since last May, Bean has started eating a variety of foods and textures. I am now able to feed him what we are having for dinner, pureed. He has made a lot of progress very recently with finger foods, too - his favorite things to munch on are puffs, Pop Chips and Veggie Straws. He's losing interest in purees and is beginning to develop the oral motor skills to eat "real" food.
Since last May, Bean has started making a few distinct sounds, learned a few signs and has become a master of communication within his abilities.
Since last May, Bean has turned in to a little boy that enjoys going for car rides and will even sleep in the car sometimes. He has learned to tolerate (most) wind and (many) noises.
Since last May, Bean has made more progress than I, or anyone, ever could have imagined.
I will remember that on Monday when we sit down with his team of therapists to discuss his (dis)abilities. I will remember that when we go to the Childhood Developmental Unit to evaluate his skills. I will remember that when I read the reports that tell me how behind he is.
Bean doesn't focus on the things he can't do. He puts one foot in front of the other and tries new things every day. I'm going to try to be more like him. I am realistic and know he has a long way to go. But instead of focusing on the things he can't do, I resolve to focus on the things he can do.