We had the people from Easter Seals come out to evaluate the twins' development on Tuesday morning. ALTA California is the organization that coordinates the services for therapy, etc. and Easter Seals is the organization ATLA contracted through to actually provide the services.
The first thing they did that they had never done before involved losing a toy. Normally when they lose a toy, they get frustrated and find the next closest toy. Yesterday, their toy rolled under a bigger toy chest and both of them put their head to the ground and looked under the toy to see if they could find it. That's really good! But they still didn't understand that if a toy is under a blanket or under a bigger toy that's closed - that it was still there.
The other first new thing Aiden did was crawl over to Connor's tool center, pull himself up to stand at it, and started taking toys off the top of it. Oooh Connor is going to be thrilled he can do that. Not. But I am!
So, all in all, the appointment went well. I was impressed with the specialist's (she specialized in early childhood development - social/emotional and cognitive disabilities) ability to engage my kids and I was impressed with my ability to remember all their milestones, when they met them, who their specialists are, what happened in the NICU, etc. =) The only thing I had to look up was their birth length. Ha!
Overall, they both qualified for services and will probably start receiving in home therapy services once a week starting in August. She didn't seem significantly worried or feel like it was too much to be able to catch them up, because they are doing a lot already. We just really need to built on the skills they already have. Some of their skills were at the 6 month mark, others at 9 months, and a few at the 12 month mark. We still need to have OT - occupational therapy - come out and observe them (and then potentially PT - physical therapy - if OT thinks it's necessary), and so it might be that they incorporate the OT stuff into the once weekly sessions we have - or it could be that we actually have two different appointments each week for them.
I thought I would feel overwhelmed and nervous, but it actually felt like such a huge relief. For the past several months, I would tell people about what they were doing and get one of two reactions: (1) "Oh that's just their personality. Maybe they're just going to do things at a different pace"...or (2) "Oh my child's been doing that for 3 months now!" I always felt like I was having to adjust to people either thinking I was being oversensitive and crazy or feeling like my kids were so behind and it was my fault. So, having them qualify gives me peace of mind. I know what I can work on. I know I'm not crazy. And I know I'm giving my kids the best possible chance for growth. (Have I mentioned the research on how effective early intervention is? It's AMAZING!).
So, that's where we're at. Hopefully, I'll be able to post about their OT appointment next week, but with the twins' birthday and our trip to Disneyland, I may not have time. Thank you all for your prayers. As always, we are so blessed to have family, friends, and blog friends who wish the best for our family!