Thursday, May 23, 2013

3 Year Developmental Tests and a Swallow Study

Camdyn and Cade went in for their 3 year developmental exams about a month ago.  They've gone every year since they "graduated" from the NICU.  The test is very comprehensive.  It tests their motor, oral/language, cognitive, social skills and more.  I was really impressed at their ability to remain focused, for the most part anyway, through the 3 hour test.  College kids don't even remain focused for a 3 hour test!

They both loved doing the puzzles and were quite good at them.

Cade decided he didn't want to sit at the table anymore and that he would like to continue his test under the table.  Luckily, his test administrator was Liz, one of our former NICU nurses.  She works at the developmental clinic now.  She was so great.  She just crawled under the table or on the floor or on the steps or wherever he decided was a good place with him to do his test.

Then he decided laying on the floor to string the beads was better.

I was so impressed with both of their test results.  Camdyn who was behind in motor and language skills last time is now right on track.  She scored average in every category.  That's pretty awesome since she is tested with 3 year olds, and they aren't supposed to even be 3 until the end of July.  She has made awesome progress over the past year.  It's so fun to watch her language skills grow every day.  She still gets frustrated when she can't find the right words and wants to make her point right away.  I remind her to use her words, and she gets it out.  I think her frustration level will decrease even more as her language skills continue to improve.

Cade scored average in language and social skills categories, above average in motor skills, and superior in cognitive.  That means he scored in the 99% in cognitive skills among all 3 year olds.  I was really astonished by this.  Not that I don't think he is smart, but I remember this.  I remember being told he had a grade II brain bleed which usually doesn't have lasting effects but only time would tell.  I remember being told he would need dexamethasone to be weaned from the ventilator.  I remember being told they really didn't know the long term effects of this powerful drug and that mental disability was a potential risk factor.  How do I even say how blessed I feel?

I jokingly told my mom that if he is supposedly so smart, why can't he learn to go potty?  It's much more of a control issue with him.  I've been watching him lately with a new perspective.  He really is very creative.  He was standing in the doorway to my office playing with the little hole that the doorknob fits into when closed.  He told me, "Look Mommy, it's a rabbit hole," and then he went on and on about this "rabbit" in the hole.  Another time, he grabbed this mixer out of the dishwasher and told me, "Look, it's a merry-go-round!" 

And if all of that weren't enough good news, we have some really great news.  Cade finally, after 5 failed swallow studies, passed his swallow study!  He can now drink safely from an open cup or a straw.  He no longer has to use a sippy cup.  It doesn't mean his vocal cord is no longer paralyzed, it just means that the right one is compensating and getting enough closure that he has a much lower risk of aspiration.  It really is fantastic news!  I took the kids to Chick-fil-a to celebrate the good news and let Cade drink from my cup.  He was pretty excited about that.

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