The second in a series of posts about my daughter's journey with a Speech Delay.
As I shared in my first blog post on this subject, my 2.5 year old daughter Tessa was scheduled to be evaluated by a physical therapist this past Wednesday. Lucky for us, we already had a relationship with the PT Annemarie at Providence Rehabilitation Services because my 5 month old son has been seeing her since November for his torticollis and plagiocephaly (more on that in a future blog post, because that is a journey worth sharing as well someday).
The PT eval lasted about an hour. Annemarie is very thorough and I love her and trust. (I'm realizing just how valuable it is when you happen upon an amazing service provider for your child, and I'm grateful we have her involved in Tessa's care). She looked at Tessa's feet and hands, arms and legs, felt her joints, how flexible she was, asked her to walk backwards, and sideways, and run, and hop and climb stairs and more. Tessa was relatively cooperative, and I believe she demonstrated (to the best of her ability) all the tasks asked of her.
I learned that while most of Tessa's joints are fairly loose, her ankles are a little tight, which might help explain why she has trouble jumping (as noted by her Early On evaluation a week or two ago), and why she seems so stiff-legged when sticking the landing after attempting to jump off a low step. We also learned that Tessa has very flat feet, to which the therapist weighed the merits of whether or not to prescribe a foot brace/orthotic that could help with that.
Based on what she saw from Tessa during the evaluation she feels that some of the areas where she may appear to be lacking, may just be simple lack of exposure. For example, Tessa struggles with jumping. Well, we haven't exactly practiced that with her. [Note to self: hop like a bunny on the way to bath]. Or when I threw Tessa a ball and asked her to catch it, she barely made an effort to catch it and the ball bopped her on the head/chest. [Again, something we can practice at home, and I've asked daycare to practice with her as the weather warms up and they head outside more often].
Annemarie wasn't convinced that Tessa needs a schedule of physical therapy, at this point in her development. She did however, ask me something that no one has yet to ask: if Tessa had ever been given a Sensory Profile questionnaire.
Umm, no? I don't think so? So Annemarie sent us home with the Pearson Infant/Toddler Sensory Profile to complete and I'll be bringing it back to her for scoring next week. I also made a photocopy and asked Tessa's daycare provider to have a crack at it. I figure she may exhibit behaviors at school that she doesn't necessarily display at home, or their results might show a consistency with my feedback, which will be useful as well. I have a feeling I know how Tessa will score (within normal ranges, except for perhaps Sensory Seeking when it comes to Oral Sensory Processing. She mouths everything!). We will wait to see what the results say, cause I'm no expert.
On this subject though, one thing that I've noticed about Tessa, on occasion, is that she likes to line things up. It's not obsessive, and she doesn't freak out if/when it's time to put things away, but I have noticed it on more than one occasion. Maybe this is totally normal behavior for a 2.5 year old, but my older daughter Allie never did anything like this. I like to joke that Tessa is "her father's child" because she must have a brain like him, always lining things up (he's an engineer). And Allie (4.5) has a brain like me, she's a mess-making tornado with little organization to her madness. :) Attached to this post I've included a collage of some of the times I've caught Tessa lining up things. Does this have anything to do with one of Sensory Profile measures? I have no idea, but I did mention this behavior to the PT during the eval.
In the meantime, her neurologist appointment got moved up to next Friday, March 15th. Annemarie and I agreed to wait until after that appointment to devise a plan (if necessary) for Tessa, so stay tuned!