We had an evaluation for Baby M with our occupational therapist because he is almost 17 months and he still doesn’t eat much. He eats very limited purees and he nurses constantly, but he will not tolerate any solid food [or anything solid, really] into his mouth.
We have been battling the dr’s and insurance company to approve the evaluation, and it finally got done! Our pediatrician said that he was a bit delayed because he was a preemie, but that we should really only be concerned with the fact that he wasn’t eating.
We had our OT do a “screening” for him which was essentially fifteen minutes playing with him and seeing that he has a very extreme and clear oral aversion. Our middle son, A-Man has sensory processing disorder, so we knew the signs.
We went to Baby M’s official evaluation expecting to come away hearing that he had SPD and some ideas with how we could continue in occupational therapy.
You can imagine my surprise when we left with a request for prescriptions for speech therapy and physical therapy as well, and it turned out that Baby M not tolerating solid foods was the least of our worries.
Global Developmental Delay
Extremely Delayed Development
As it turns out, Baby M’s delays were not within the realm of typical, even considering his adjusted age. He was born seven weeks premature, and we have been told by his Dr that he would “catch up”. He does not really talk, he has just started saying “Mama” with a purpose this week.
He doesn’t attempt to self-feed. He doesn’t have any real interest in food. He can pull himself to standing, but he falls often and resists standing. His right side is a lot “lazier” than his left. He has motor planning issues and possible processing issues.
His sensory processing disorder is extreme. Essentially, he is delayed in every major part of his development, and he essentially acts like an infant rather than a toddler.
Another Insurance Battle
It took us nearly two months to battle with our pediatrician and our insurance to get Baby M’s OT evaluation. We are hopeful that the referrals for physical therapy and speech therapy won’t take as long, but the pediatrician has already sent the orders to the wrong clinic for physical therapy, and sent the speech therapy orders to a specialist in a completely different hospital which is in a different city. Urgh.
Baby M is almost 17 months old, and he needs to start therapies now, the sooner the better. Kids have a window for certain activities and milestones, and if they don’t learn the activity or achieve the milestone within that window, it doesn’t mean that they never will, it just means that it will be ten times harder.
Bottom line? Every week that we wait for therapy to start is likely adding two weeks to the therapy services he will need.
I wish that my son’s pediatrician had told me to be concerned. I wish that she had told me that he was out of the “he’s a preemie” realm. I wish that I didn’t walk into the clinic thinking that we were just facing sensory processing disorder. I’m beginning to become a bit overwhelmed.
We are still waiting on A-Man’s official diagnosis of autism, but he has speech and occupational therapy weekly. Now Baby M will have speech, occupational, and physical therapy as soon as I bully the Dr enough. Plus we’ve been trying to add some preschool activities for A-Man [slowly, and at his pace].
Not to mention trying to keep up with homeschooling Mr. C. While it would be easy to say that Mr. C is four, so we’ll just put a hold on it til next year, at this point, I’m not. He should not be put on the back-burner because his needs aren’t screaming quite so loud.
So for now, I’ll drink lots of coffee. I’ll [try] to lean on my friends who offer help and support. I’ll binge-watch Netflix shows late at night when I can’t sleep. Occasionally I’ll go out for lunch with my best friend just to not worry about things for a few hours.
And things will work out. They always do.
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