An occupational therapist from the Early Intervention Program came out today at my request to do an informal evaluation on Shelby at the same time that she had PT with Beth. Beth and I have been slightly concerned that Shelby often fists her left hand and isn't able to use it as adeptly as her right hand. Since OT deals with fine motor skills, we wanted to make sure we weren't missing anything important. The OT visit today went really well. Garnett (the OT) confirmed the fact that there is some asymmetry between Shelby's two sides, but only slight. She told us to basically keep doing what we have been doing, which is to massage her left hand and thumb and to try and figure out ways to encourage her to engage that hand and arm. She also suggested that we do a formal OT assessment towards the end of January and look at picking up OT on a regular basis then.
Today's evaluation marks the beginning of a very busy month for Shelby. We go back to Duke on December 7th to follow-up with Shelby's neurosurgeon and orthopedist. Then we have her 6-month pediatrician check-up and Shelby's neurologist the following week. Finally, we have an appointment with Shelby's ophthalmologist on December 23rd. I look toward all these appointments with a mixture of anticipation and dread. I love finding out more about Shelby and her brain because it helps us to understand her and care for her better. At the same time, I am absolutely terrified of getting bad news. Anyway, please keep us in your prayers with all these upcoming appointments.
In the meantime, Shelby continues to progress developmentally and is interacting with us more and more. She constantly reaches out to touch our faces and smiles and "talks" to us in baby gibberish. All of these are very good signs. We have also noticed in the past week that her vision is improving, which is so great! She continues to amaze us and we are certainly blessed to have her in our family!