Thursday, July 19, 2012

Developmental Pediatric Appt

Maria's View-

Our appt with Griffin's Developmental Specialist was awesome!  I love this doctor!  He was just amazing.  He began by actually coming to the waiting room to get us and introduced himself before we even stood to go back with him.  He took us to the tech who did all of Griffin's measurements and weight and then she took us back to Dr. F.  His office was awesome and I could see that Griffin couldn't wait to get up and explore.  He immediately started observing Griffin and said that he was amazed at what he was seeing compared to what he expected (with orphanage delays on top of Ds).  He got down on Griffin's level and played with him while all decked out in his BDU's.  He engaged him in toys, played Patty Cake, tossed him into the air, watched him walk, crawl, explore, redirected him, and was just so kindhearted.  What I really appreciated the most was that he treated him like he would have treated our biological children.  He treated us as if we were completely normal for adopting this little boy.  No "what were you thinking?", No "you've got a long road ahead of you", No, "why did you want to adopt him?" Just nothing but a desire to do the best he can for our son.

So we went to the appt with a list of questions and for 1 1/2 hours, he answered them all, and added his thoughts and concerns.  First of all, he wants to take things slow for Griffin's sake.  I really appreciate that because that's the way we feel as well.  He wants us to start Occupational Therapy.   He feels that since Little G is in speech, that I can use those techniques to help Griffin on my own, until he goes to Preschool.  He feels that since he picked up on signing 'more' so quickly, that it may be a good idea to teach him more signs.  I have mixed feelings about that but as of right now, he's not even really attempting to form words.  Signing would be better than nothing.

He also wants him to start Preschool as soon as possible.  I have mixed feelings about this as well since we are dealing with bonding.  He has worked with families who have adopted and he still feels that Griffin is a great candidate for PreK.  We have to enroll him and then he has to be evaluated/tested to make sure he qualifies (he does), and then he will be able to start.  So it may not be until October/November before he is placed in a classroom.  That's fine with me!  That will just give him some extra time at home for bonding.  In PreK, he will receive even more therapy, to include physical, occupational, and speech therapies.  It is 4 days a week for 2 1/2 hours per day.

He wants us to go ahead with the GI study to test for Celiac Disease, ophthalmology to see if he should be wearing glasses and to possibly get his tear ducts stinted, endocrinology just to make sure his thyroid is okay (precautionary), have his hearing checked, and that may be just about it.  He was pretty amazed by how healthy he is!  Also, another precautionary thing is that we will get in a cervical spine x-ray to check for atlantoaxial or occipitoatlantal instability.  We need to make sure his neck is strong so that we can get him into football ASAP!  :-)

As far as the shape of his head goes, he doesn't feel that there is anything that we can do to help that unless we take him to surgery.  They would have to sculpt his head with bone grafts and plates so we don't feel that it would be in his best interest.  We were hoping that he could be fitted for helmets but he has passed the age of that (he thinks), so he will double check with the right department to make sure.

We have no idea why he was running fever because his ears and throat checked out fine.  He said that he is very susceptible to catching things because of the sheltered life he has lived in the orphanage.  He basically lived in a bubble...when a child got sick, they quarantined the sick child to cut back on exposure to the groupas.  So we will probably be seeing a lot of this.

We will go register him for school tomorrow and get that ball rolling.  I can't believe that I already need to buy him a backpack and a lunch box!!  He's too tiny for school!

On the home front, we are noticing that Griffin is turning away certain food!  This is huge!  When he had his fever the other night and refused food, I noticed that he was not signing 'more'.  I even tried to make him sign it, just thinking that he may not have felt well enough to deal with the signs, but that wasn't the case!  He wasn't signing 'more' because he didn't want more!  He made the connection.  It's not just a motion to him, it means what it means!  He is communicating.  I am so proud of him! 

He also got his first haircut today!  And it didn't go so well!  Apparently, they only did scissor cuts in the orphanage. :-/  So we had to hold him down some.  He did sit well every now and then but he wasn't happy about it at all.  If we can't find a barber to do just a scissor cut, we may have a very shaggy-headed boy running around. :-)

But anyway, today was very insightful and I feel that Griffin is in extremely great hands with Dr. F.  He was very knowledgeable and if he didn't know the answer to one of our questions, he wrote it down, and will get back to us on it.  BTW, Dr. F noticed that Chris was wearing his USM jersey and told us that he was the Behavioral specialist there around 2006!  Pretty awesome!  SMTTT! :-)

As we were leaving, he said that he felt that Griffin would have everything he needs at this base and that he is excited to see how far he will go in 2 months time!  He said that he is also going to put us in contact with another family who has a child with Ds about the same size and age as Griffin.  I'm pretty excited about that.

Chris is about to take Big G to the pool and I'm about to crash on the couch with the little ones.  (BTW, it's cold outside today!)

Hope y'all are having a great day!


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