Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Infant Toddler Assessment Program Update

Colin had his visit with the ITAP program at Jersey Shore today. He has been following up every 3 months and as I have explained before, he sees a speech therapist, developmental therapist, nurse, and developmental pediatrician while he is there.

After the last 2 visits, we have considered ending our visits to there because we have not always been happy with our experiences. However, we decided that it doesn't hurt us to go and we have now built up stronger shells to our experiences.

Unfortunately I was unable to attend today because of work and student teaching (3. more. days!) but this is the update from Chris:

  • The speech therapist reported that he is on track developmentally for his pre-language skills and is happy with his progress. Since he has not had any feeding issues, he is good in that area.
  • He weighed 16 lbs. (falls in the 5-10th percentile for the "standard" chart and 50-75th percentile for the DS chart)
  • He is 27 inches long
  • His head circumference is 42.8 and between the 10th and 25th percentile
  • The developmental pediatrician was very happy with his progress
  • For the 1st time of our visits there, Chris had to fill out a questionaire where the responses were either never, sometimes or often to questions like how many words can he put together, does he point to objects, does he respond to words that indicate a specific item, does he do things to make us laugh, etc.). Some of the questions seemed so far off from where we are at now (and probably developmentally ARE further off for any child) and some questions he easily does on a regular basis).

We have noticed that Colin is starting to have a flattening in the back of his head, mostly because prior to him becoming more active in terms of tummy time and sitting, he spent a lot of time on his back. We tried to get him to sleep on his tummy, but it would get to the point where he was so unhappy that we just couldn't leave him there. We have been making more of an effort for him to spend as little time as possible on his back including during sleeping. The past few nights he has slept the whole night on his back.

Chris asked about this flattening and they immediately started "reacting". They pulled other people into the room, started observing saying that one side was more prominent than the other, and acting very concerned. For Chris (and then for me once he told me), it made us feel very uneasy because of the way they "reacted". They gave Chris a phone number for a specialist who does scientific measurements for the possiblity of Colin wearing a helmet to correct the flattening.

My question to all of you...does anyone have any experience with this? Did any of your children have this problem and if so, did they need to wear a helmet?

We will see our physical therapist tomorrow and will ask her and then will be seeing the pediatrician next week for Colin's 8 month appointment but in the meantime, I was curious to see if anyone else had any experience before I start "panicking". I quoted panicking because that sounds drastic, but I am concerned.

I'll post some pictures over the next few days and see what you all think...


Kristin said...

My 4 year old has the flattest head ever!! She seriously can't wear a pony tail in back because it looks so wierd. No matter which way I propped her when she slept in the first few months, she would turn her head face toward the ceiling. We were evaluated for a helmet when she was about 6 months old (I really wanted one), but because her flattening was symmetrical, they said it wouldn't do anything. Good luck. Sometimes they worry that the flat spot is due to short or weak muscles on one side of the neck - maybe that is what they're concerned about. We had a neighbor with this condition. He just did therapy once a week and worked on strengthening the muscles - it wasn't a big deal.

Tara said...

The first time I took Ava to the Neonatal specialist, they completely freaked me out about her head being flat and her having to wear a helmet. In her case it was worse on the right side, because she favored that side more due to her neck muscles being tight on the left side. I was completelty freaked out. My pediatritian told me not too worry about it too much, that she would be fine. Over the next few months, she started sitting in the Bumpo chair and playing in the Exersaucer so much that she wasn't always laying on her head. When we went back for her next visit they were no longer concerned. I think the more time they spend upright, the better it gets. If your pediatritian isn't worried about it, I wouldn't worry either. I think it's the specialists jobs to freak you out and make you feel like a bad parent.