Friday, January 28, 2011

Vision Problems

Mikan giving his sister "knuckles."

Mikan and the OT

This week Mikan visited a vision therapist and optometrist that his OT reccommended. Mikan has difficulty with fine motor skills and doesn't like to make eye contact when people are close to his face. The doctor said that Mikan has a congenital nystagmus (shaky eyes) that will probably always affect his vision, never allowing him to ever see 20/20, even with a corrective lens. He also has difficulty moving his eyes from side to side deliberately without moving his entire head (Right now we are developing exercises where someone holds Mikan's head in place while someone else runs back and forth in front of him). The doctor wanted Mikan's glasses prescription to be cut in half, enabling him to see better in the 1-2 foot range in front of him, since that is where most of his world is right now. His current glasses correct his distance vision, but because they are so strong, they make his close-up vision blurry. We've always known this, but the opthamologist we've been seeing said that he would learn to look over his glasses at things close-up. Well, he doesn't do that.

The new doctor we saw said that Mikan's brain is under too much stress trying to focus on things close-up, and he is not allowing his eyes to learn how to work in a 1-2 foot radius. So we are going to try getting him a new pair of glasses. He will wear the new pair most of the time, but we'll keep the old ones for him to use if we want him to look at things at a distance. Mikan doesn't know what it is like to see clearly, so he just doesn't complain.

In the next few weeks, Mikan will be assessed for ST, PT, and OT for his preschool services as well as at an outside clinic (since he is graduating from First Steps home therapy program in March). His schedule is getting a whole lot more complicated, but we're happy to see his progress, especially with speech lately.

We are also making a couple trips to Indy this month (we finally got to schedule them.) We are hoping to get some answers about Mikan's walking and poor core strength.

We think Mikan will love preschool. He knows all of his numbers and letters and practices sounding out words and reading his books. His speech is starting to become more recognizable to people outside of the family, so he won't have to rely so much on sign language to communicate with his teachers.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Winter Indoor Fun

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Lake Effect Event and AFO shells

South Bend had record breaking snowfall this weekend (39 inches). We didn't get as much, but we had plenty.

The picture above was taken from our front door. We got 10 more inches of snow that day after I took the picture.

Mikan's AFO shells finally arrived. They fit over his SMOs and restrict his toe/heel movement so that he will stay off his toes and hopefully establish a more natural gait. I can already tell a difference in his walking. The shells seem to give him more stability than the SMOs alone. Hopefully this will give him the support he needs to finally be mobile without his walker. The walker we've been using is on loan, but we also finally got insurance approval to purchase our own (it took about five months), so we've just ordered one. We have no idea how long he'll need it, but it allows him to be semi-independent for now.

Mikan is adjusting well to life with a new little one. When he sees Anica's little fists balled up, he'll crawl over to her and pound his fist with hers; its his brotherly greeting.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

PDD or Normal/Quirky 2-year old?

We don't have a lot of news to report for the new year. We finally scheduled an appointment with the physiatrist for February, but are still waiting on the developmental pediatrician. One of Mikan's therapists mentioned that she wouldn't be surprised if the pediatrician dignosed him with PDD (pervasive developmental disorder).

PDD is a group of delays in communication and socialization that are often associated with autism. He doesn't display definitive characteristics of any one syndrome, but his "quirkiness" overlaps with several conditions. Right now we are just watching everything, but it is hard to distinguish what is delayed due to prematurity and what is merely a personality trait vs. a symptom of a disorder. I'm going to call him a normal two-year-old for now.

On a different note, please pray for little Maggie. Maggie and her family follow our blog and we've followed hers for awhile now. Maggie's mitochondrial disease is weakening her body and she could use some extra prayers from anyone willing. You can read about her on her blog