Jul 31, 2014

The One with the 21 Month Old Who Trying to Walk and Talk and Going to Get Help

If you have been following our story then you know that we have been struggling to get Addison up and moving. She's 21 months and still not walking. In fact she went through a regression back in February-March that lasted about a month or so. During that time she had no interested in learning to walk, she went back to only saying dada, she was scared to go down the stairs even though she had been doing for a while already, and she was afraid of baths. If you want the full story, check out here and here.

So I guess this is the next part of the story....

This has been a very stressful experience. No one wants to see their child struggle. No one wants to see their child fall behind. No one wants to see their child have to get sedated. And that has been my life the last few months. I want my daughter and know that she is perfect and beautiful. And my heart breaks when I think of all the things she's struggling to do still.

We have addressing her regression and lack of walking at her age through a medical standpoint. But so far nothing medically can clearly point to the reason why she's not walking. And that is just as frustrating, not knowing how to help my daughter get past this struggle.

It was after Addison's pre-opt physical with her regular doctor that I got a call from the nurse. She asked me if the doctor remembered to talk to me about Infant Toddler Services. I knew nothing about this, so clearly I said no. The nurse told me that the doctor would like me call them for an evaluation for her language. Her language was also affected by the regression but as of yet no one had addressed that issue.

Before the regression, Addison seemed to be on track. She was saying words. Her first word was mama, but the most used was dada. She could say simple words like cat and duck. But when the regression started, it all stopped. She went back to just saying dada all the time. No amount of coaxing could get her to say anything else. She seemed to still understand what I was saying but because our communication was suddenly seriously limited, she started throwing more temper tantrums which I think was a result from me just not understanding what she wanted.

After awhile, just like with her walking, she started to get better. She started progressing again. It was at a much slower pace and we were months behind but slowly she started to communicate more. A new word would come out every once in awhile, but those were few and far between. Then finally she started chattering. One day she woke up chattering, there were no actual words in the mix, but she did some serious talking. She hasn't stopped chattering since then but still there are so words. I'm learning to communicate with her and figure out what she wants, but it has taken awhile to get there. But it seems no matter what I do, she just isn't getting actual words out.

So when the nurse called and told me about Infant Toddler Services, I thought maybe this was my lucky day. Maybe we would finally get the help we so desperately needed. The way that it works is that they come out and do an evaluation to see if Addison's qualifies. If she is 25% delayed at all in any way then they will provide services for free. As although the doctor wanted me to have her language evaluated, they would evaluate everything and get us help as needed.

If you have been paying attention then you know that she's already more than 25% delayed in her gross motor skills.

So we set up her evaluation and two therapist came out, one speech therapist and on occupational therapist. They were very nice ladies who asked me just about every question imaginable when it comes to Addison, including if there was anything unusual about my pregnancy (well, hello gestational diabetes, I hadn't thought about you in awhile!). They observed her and talked with me. We talked about her walking and about her MRI. We talked about what she could do. We talked about what she couldn't do.

I learned that although she is delayed when it comes to walking, she is ahead when it comes to putting puzzles together. I put three puzzles in front of her, take out the pieces, and she is able to put all the pieces back in the first try. Apparently most kids can't do that until after two. (Sorry, I had to brag a little!)

Just as everyone else, they seemed confused by why she wasn't walking. Towards the end, Rob came home for lunch and we were able to get her up and walking. She is stable and in control. The occupational therapist suggested we keep shoes on her to give her ankles support since she's kind of walking on the inside of her feet. But otherwise there doesn't seem to be a clear reason. At this age, most kids just want to move constantly, but Addison is very content and do something for hours at a time. Hence the puzzle skills - she sits still long enough for her to work on that.

Pretty early on they said that they would get us some help. And you can't even imagine the weight that lifted off my shoulders. I have been watching her not develop the way she was supposed to. I have been watching her struggle. I watched her regressed with me worried it was all in my head and no one completely believing me. But now I was sitting with two ladies who see probably hundreds of kids and they were confirming that she was behind and that we needed help. I felt so much better.

We decided that our primary goal would be to get her walking and transition (she can't stand up in the middle of the room nor can she go from laying on her back to sitting up without rolling over), and our secondary would be language. We will have two therapists coming out to work with Addie as much or as little as we want. So now we are waiting for the next call from them again in regards to getting her officially set up with the group (they had a meeting with the therapists to find the best people for her case) and setting up times.

So our story isn't over yet. It continues with only happy progress ahead...

Check out the start of the story here:
The One with the 18 Month Old Who Can't Walk
The One with the 20 Month Old Who Still Isn't Walk

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