Bronson had a check up at Sick Kids in the Neonatal Follow up clinic this week and, prior to it, I thought that he was doing great. At the appointment I learned that there's actually a few concerns with his development. Nothing really serious (or that I'm aware of anyways) but, at his last appointment in September he was in the 25th percentile and now he's around the 20th percentile for development for his age. I know those are just numbers and I don't hold a lot of faith in numbers because, in reality, not all kids develop or hit milestones at the same age. I think that's true especially for Bronson because of all the health issues and set backs he had in the first 4 months of his life.
For a couple of months I've noticed that Bronson's legs are very stiff but I didn't think that much about it. I knew it was a problem but I figured that he was just being stubborn and didn't want to bend his knees when I wanted him to because I know that he can bend them other times. The physiotherapist and occupational therapist noticed right away that the reflexes in both of his knees (his left knee is worse than the right one though) weren't reacting properly when hit with one of those mallet thingys (I have no idea what those things are actually called). They also noticed that when he's sitting on the floor he keeps his legs perfectly straight, almost like they're glued to the floor. If you've been around any babies you'll know that their knees are usually always bent - not straight. Also, by now he should be able to move from a laying down position to a sitting position, which he's not because of the stiffness in his legs.
The PT and OT gave me some activities and exercises to do with him to help his legs loosen up. One thing they said was that putting him in the exersaucer or jolly jumper isn't the best. They really want him on the floor crawling around and bending his knees. Which makes perfect sense and I understand their reasoning for it but, in reality, if I want to get anything done or, when I'm doing activities with my daycare kids, such as crafts, he has to be in the exersaucer so he isn't getting into things. But, as I was just typing I thought of setting up a playpen on my main floor... it's worth a try!
The PT and OT were talking about getting us local physiotherapy services again (he was supposed to have physio when he came home from the hospital in august) but, because we live in a small area the local office is only open 3 days a week and the only 2 days that I could make work were the days they're closed. If I don't notice improvement I know that I can call and get a referral but, for now, I'm going to try what they suggested.
The other thing they noticed at the appointment was that he tends to use his right hand a lot more than his left. Again, I have no idea what that could mean, but it's a problem. So, I have to make sure that when I give him toys to play with they're in his left hand. I don't think that this is a huge concern but, obviously it's important if they mentioned it to me.
I think that's all they said about his development. I wish that I had asked what the long term problems could be if his reflexes don't get better but, I forgot. I wasn't expecting to hear bad things about his progress so I wasn't ready with questions.
On a positive note, he's gained weight and is up 15.7 lbs and is 68cm long. Good job Bronson! :)
Bronson turned 9 months old on February 9 and I haven't had a chance to take pictures or do a 9 month update yet, mostly because I keep forgetting to charge my camera battery! It's charging right now though, so I'll post that update one day this week.