Thursday, April 12, 2007

Ella graduated from Physical Therapy!

Lots of medical lingo, ask me if you need something clarified!

In late 2005 after several years of EEGs and MRIs related to her mysterious unspecified seizure disorder, we finally got Ella into some developmental testing related to her most recent MRI's revealing of abnormally low myelinated (white matter) areas in her brain. (This probably has nothing to do with her seizure disorder, though!)

The specialists we saw at UNC found her to be in the normal range for speech, hearing, vision, and issues relating to psychology. She was in the lower range according to the developmental pediatrician, the physical therapist, and the occupational therapist. In addition to OT and PT they recommended her for sensory therapy. We never did get sensory therapy covered by insurance, but her OT has worked on some things with her, and I have been doing a lot of reading on that front to address ongoing issues.

Ella received an evaluation from her OT a few weeks ago. She has made great strides, but continues to test lowest (two standard deviations below the norm) in the areas of manual dexterity and motor planning, but has some additional things to work on as well. She sees her OT twice a month, and we will probably re-evalulate in the fall.

Ella received an evaluation from her PT in the last few weeks, and I got the results today. Ella was given the Peabody Inventory at age 5 yrs 11 months, a fairly easy basic skills test compared to some others, plus she was at the top end of the age range suggested for administration of the Peabody. Her biggest areas of delay in PT were that she toe walked almost all the time (a neurological concern, we discovered) and still used the w-sitting position when she sat down, rather than legs crossed, poor muscle tone and several coordination issues. At that time, she scored between 36 and 48 months of age. She tested **two to three years** behind her chronological age at that time. Ella was given the BOT in March, a harder inventory, at age 7 yrs 3 months, and she scored

***AVERAGE*** !!!!

This is a huge jump in a year of therapy. Her PT suggested that they work in the next few weeks on an exercise program for her over the summer, and will probably recommend a certain number of minutes per week of bike riding and scooter riding and monkey bar crossing and rock wall scaling.. but after May, she gets to stop going to PT! We will check back in after summer and see how often we want to check in.

I am so thankful that we were able to have Ella evaluated at UNC, and that we have had such wonderful therapists to work with Ella. And I am so thankful that Grace has worked so hard. We are probably going to take Ella out for supper one night soon, and then go choose a new bike as a celebration for her hard work (since she has gotten too tall for her current one!).

I just wanted to share my excitement over my oldest daughter's accomplishment!


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