Today was the day we had Willow evaluated so that she can start to receive services such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, etc. Really for her age now, it is considered play therapy! I am really trying hard to remember the "label" they have just given Willow.... after research online (gotta love that!) I have found the answer! LOL She has just been "labled" with:
|Other health impairment (OHI)||A disease or health disorder so significant that it negatively affects learning; examples include cancer, sickle-cell anemia, and diabetes.|
Basically she has delays (we knew that) and right now they are delays because while she might be able to follow a toy from left to right one minute, she can not do so reliably. And that is how she is over all delayed as well, she does not lift her head reliably or consistently, she does not reach for toys (mainly due to her visual delay). So, while she seems to be an overall happy baby (and yes, I still believe she is happy), she gives us smiles, she will "talk" to us (that is my favorite part of our morning), she has yet to giggle though while awake.. hmmmm must find a way to make Willow giggle. :)
Her visual delay has a name as well (other than cortical blindness as previously stated) and that is delayed visual maturation. I just skimmed this article about it, and it seems to use a great understanding language (meaning less technical):
Basically the therapist left us today, with some great information, we will start therapy every week, once a week, beginning the week of the 18th (they get spring break too), services will run all year as they work from an alternative year calendar, and will be done in our house through play time up until the age of 3 where we will then incorporate her into a classroom therapy, group setting. She will also be evaluated for visual therapy which could bring about more appointments and play therapy. Yet through all of this, she also told us of a children's insurance that will coincide with their current insurance and will help cover the cost of future items we may need, such as a walker, or visual toys to stimulate her vision, etc. We really do not know what the future holds (honestly who does!), but we are on the path to giving her the best start possible, and really that is all that matters now! She also suggested we file for SSI, so that we can get the ball rolling on that. It's slightly odd though to think that a 3 month old can qualify for SSI, but we shall see.
We had talked about a few personal things as well, such as the therapist that came today has an 8 yr. old daughter who at 6 months was found to have a brain tumor. So in all honesty, Michelle was her name, was a great therapist to have come to our house and speak with us about what we may or may not see in the days/months to come. We spoke of the possibilities of seizures, as that is seen most times with brain injuries/disabilities as hers. I told her how before she was a month old, I noticed Willow breathing differently for a short time periods and shaking with eye twitches or rolling her eyes to the back of her head; she suggested that the next time that happens, to record it and show my doctors. I may be surprised by what they tell me. There was more to that conversation, and so I am going to have to watch her a lot more now.
All in all, after she left, I felt very happy knowing that things are progressing in Willow's therapy. It will be a long road, and truth is, I may not ever be able to finish school, but as of today, I would not change what the future holds for us, even if I was given the chance to.