Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Huge Accomplishment!

The babies have been receiving therapy services since they were about one-years-old. A lot of people ask me how I knew that the babies needed services. Honestly, it was just my gut. I did have a wonderful friend and neighbor who seriously helped guide me in the right direction and gave me some great feedback and her honest opinion, but she wouldn't have given it to me had I not, in my gut, known something wasn't typical with their development. HERE are all the posts I've written about their therapy. The short version of why we had them tested is that they weren't meeting their milestones.

Over the past year, they have been receiving weekly childhood development therapy for one hour each, weekly speech therapy for one hour each, and monthly OT (occupational therapy) for one hour each.

 
In the development therapies, they play games, do puzzles, build things, put toys together, stack objects - any skill that they need to work on and develop. Of course as they got older, what they were working on changed. So at first we were literally hiding objects under a towel to see if they could pull the towel off to find the object - and now we're giving them complex puzzle pieces to fit together.
 Oftentimes, it's just a matter of devoting a solid hour to work with each kid individually to challenge them. I know I'm not alone when I say that with three kids, sometimes the hardest part is just exposing them to the things they need to grow. With Connor, we exposed him to everything: puzzles, vocabulary, games, and so much more. And it's not that we don't do that with the twins; it's just that we're now trying to simultaneously entertain three children at three different levels - while also trying to put a load of laundry into the washer, solve squabbles, feed the dog, clean the house, solve more squabbles, pack diaper bags, fold and sort laundry, iron work clothes, and a million other things we somehow miraculously cram into each day. So, we tend to turn to the things all three kids can do together - rather than the things that they can do individually.
During the last couple therapy sessions, it has become very clear that they are developing typically. They are walking, eating, and doing activities that are very typical of their peers. So, our childhood development specialist reevaluated them and told us that they were both in the 21-24 month range in overall development (they were 22 months old adjusted age at the time of the test- when you have a preemie, you adjust their age back by subtracting the number of weeks or months they were early). So, on Tuesday, June 11th, after discussing all of our options, we agreed to exit Aiden and Isabella from Childhood Developmental Therapy! Honestly, I could not be more excited! I truly believe that Early Intervention was hugely successful for them. (I'm telling you! If you are concerned AT ALL - just call and find out about your state's resources. I really, truly believe you will not regret getting your kids services! The earlier you intervene, the better the results!).
 
I called my husband as soon as I got the good news and we planned a fun celebration for them! We decided on strawberry and raspberry smoothies. I think Connor was most excited - but only because he actually knew what a smoothie was. Ha!
 
I am pretty sure that Aiden and Isabella had absolutely no idea what we were celebrating. But that's okay.
 Hubby and I are super excited because it's one weekly therapy we can cross off our to-do list (not that I would have complained for one tiny second if they still needed it!).
 Can we just point out that Isabella was waiting with her hands on her hips while Daddy was making her smoothie? Umm. Is she thirteen?
 Then, on June 18th, the babies had their Occupational Therapy appointment. It was determined that they would be exited from those services as well!! They are both in the 21-30 month range for skills in the OT evaluation. Their goals were to use a spoon to eat, drink out of a cup, and walk. And obviously they have met those goals with flying colors! Another celebration was in order! We celebrated with smoothies, again. This time we drank them on the lawn outside!

They were so funny. Mr. Howard likes smoothies, but doesn't love them like I do. Thankfully, the kids take after me. They are obsessed! I prefer smoothies to milkshakes anyday!
 So, the only services Aiden and Isabella will now receive are speech services. They are both doing really well and making a lot of progress, but exiting them from their other services was conditional upon them continuing in speech (so that there is someone monitoring their progress each week!). This way, if we feel like something is lagging or they aren't meeting the milestones they need to meet, we'll be able to get a specialist out quickly to see them. Honestly, my gut says that they'll be out of speech in the next year too. I really think their language is pretty typical - especially for twins.

7 comments:

Mrs. Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Yay! That's great news. For the record, I LOVE smoothies and so does Ellie. We just had green ones this morning. :)

Mrs. Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I can't believe I didn't ask how it went with Isabella, when I was there on Tues. Shame on me! I was so concerned with what I had to do that day, I completely forgot. But, I am glad to read they are doing well. I think they are all amazing! Love them, and you!!!

Mrs. Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Mom, you're sweet! It's okay! I soo appreciated you coming to help!!

Mrs. Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Aren't they the best?!? I have a confession though; I've never been brave enough to try any green ones! I think I'm going to put that on my summer bucket list. Do you have any favorite recipes?

Mrs. Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I do spinach and blueberry, the blueberry is so strong, it really covers the taste of the spinach!

Mrs. Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

They're not as bad as they sound! The key is baby spinach and banana. Banana is perfect with spinach. Today I made one with ice, water, baby spinach, banana, walnuts, and flax seed meal for breakfast. Here's a great blog with recipes: http://ohsheglows.com/2011/01/13/classic-green-monster/

Mrs. Howard said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

seriously, as long as there is fruit in it, too, a handful of spinach in a smoothie will go UN-tasted (just changes the color), and you get all the vitamins! Try it!
So glad about the kiddos! XO

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