October 21, 2011

ECI Assessment and New Progress

Charlie has been receiving physical therapy with Texas ECI (Early Childhood Intervention) for a year now.  Charlie had his one-year assessment this month with his therapist as well as a speech therapist called in to help with his swallowing and speech issues.  The primary focus is that the musculature of Charlie's mouth, tongue and throat seem to have a right side weakness.  The therapist gave the Greenmans lots of tools and exercises to work with over the next few months.  What does this mean in the long term?  Only that Charlie may have some pronunciation issues when he acquires language.  He may also have some initial trouble with swallowing some of the more solid foods, which he has already experienced.

The therapists are required to ranked him at a certain developmental age in a series of categories.  Based on their tests and the past year of working with Charlie, this was their assessment.

Language was tested in three categories:
Intelligibility - 7 months
Cognitive - 7 months
Expressive - 11 months

Physical was tested in three categories:
Gross motor skills - 6 to 7 months
Fine motor skills - 8 months
Social engagement - 12 months

Both therapists reitterated that his progress has been very good.  Since Charlie was on the Phenobarbital for 7 months, they consider his first month of learning, comprehension and absorption of information to be his 8th month.  So if we count from his 8th month of life to now, that's 6 months of physical and language skill acquisition.  By this measure, Charlie has been progressing as a normal, non-brain injured baby.

He still has to contend with his left side arm and hand weakness as well as his right side speech and swallow issues, but we are thrilled with Charlie's development.  Charlie's physical therapist is now meeting two times a week with Charlie.

Just in the last week, Charlie has begun to pull up onto his knees.  This is a huge step towards crawling.  He is very interested in out-of-reach objects and is beginning to find ways to move towards them.  He utilizes strategic rolling and little scooting motions to reach his goals. 

Also in the past week, Charlie said his first word.  Sarah was putting him in his car seat and said, "Charlie, Hi!" and Charlie replied back with a simple, high-pitched "Hi".  Its the perfect first word for a baby as engaged and joyful as Charlie.

As always, thank you for reading and for keeping up with Charlie Greenman.  
Your support and best wishes are so appreciated!