we started this morning a bit nervously as we patiently waited for a specialist from our county who works for a program called early on” which is, according to its website, “…a network of services for children who are developmentally delayed, or at risk of developing delays.”
this was odin’s first big “test” and we sat back wringing our hands as the specialist ran through a series of tests to see if she could detect any cognitive or motor delays.
thankfully, she started off with odin’s favorite object – a mirror.
he happily gazed at himself in the mirror and seemed quite interested in the cute baby looking at him for some time. later he started doing more pushups, which was nice because the posture in the picture is technically considered to be “lazy” ( my term, not hers ). but she didn’t mark it on his permanent record since throughout the session he proved himself to be not very lazy at all.
after she spent some time having odin look in the mirror, she moved on to dangling various objects in front of him to see how well he tracked them with his eyes and whether or not he reached out and grabbed them.
he was happy to look and attend to whatever was placed in front of him, but he wasn’t feeling too “grabby”. he grasped out for a few of the objects, but mostly he just liked to look at them.
we asked a few “worry-wart-parent” questions and the specialist assured us that he was doing just fine.
next, it was time to test his strength and his ability to grasp and control his head.
he’s quite strong, as we play this game all the time. the specialist was very impressed with his ability to keep his head up and aligned with his neck through the process of pulling him up from a “laying down” position.
lastly, the specialist checked odin for signs of the common stiff muscles and joints that i was talking about just the other day.
it seems that all the massages are working their wonders because she only detected a slight stiffness in hips that she didn’t think was going to have a significant impact on development milestones.
after she was finished she surprised us by saying something we hadn’t expected as she she stated that she didn’t feel a need to schedule a follow-up appointment.
“you know, if i didn’t know he was a 25 weeker, i’d have never suspected. to me he looks and acts just line any other 3 or 4 month old.”
once again, odin amazes us. it’s very, very unusual for developmental specialists to not track 25 weekers closely for the first year. but according to her professional judgement, he really is – in many ways – a boy like any other ( in age-adjusted terms, of course. ).
we do have another develomental assessment session with a specialist from the nicu that was booked when odin was released as a way for them to track outcomes. it’s possible that something could come up between now and then or that the nicu specialist would come to a different conclusion, but cathy thought that was highly unlikely.
it’s amusing that we’d see this headline on the same day that we received word that odin is indistinguishable from other infants, in age adjusted terms. he’s normal! which i guess probably does make him a “miracle boy”.
to be fair, if you look closely at the “byline” of the article you’ll see that it’s authored by none other than grandma rier who penned the lengthy, belated birth announcement for the local newspaper that serves “downeast machias, maine.
i’m not sure what to think that the few factual errors are all associated with me! i’m 6’4″ not 6’6″, i’m no longer employed by motorola and the website url was printed incorrectly. all errors are, of course, attributed to the paper and not grandma rier.
in any case, contrary to the rest of the world where “snowdeal” is funny sounding last name, it’s relatively common in downeast maine and they’re are lots and lots of people who knew the other three eric snowdeal’s who will be happy to know that eric the fourth is a “miracle boy”. we’re mighty appreciative that grandma put the announcement in the paper.