Or maybe just their children.

Yesterday Christopher had an appointment with Developmental Pediatric Services.  When children are born as early as Christopher was there can be all kinds of disabilities or delays that can affect them.  Anything from, cerebral palsy to hearing and vision impairments.  Aside from disabilities, preemies often have difficulty catching up on their milestones.  We’ve all heard of the milestones babies are supposed to achieve at certain ages…being able to sit up without assistance, using the pincer grasp, walking.  I have a chart on my fridge of what exactly Christopher is supposed to be doing and when.

When babies are born so far before their due date they are given an adjusted age based on how early they were born as well as their chronological age.  So, Christopher was born 2.5 months early, his chronological age is 11 months and his adjusted age is 8.5 months.  When we look at his milestone achievements and development we are supposed to go by his adjusted age.  Typically, it takes until the age of 2 for preemies to catch up developmentally with their full-term friends.

In order to track his progress we see a pediatric developmental specialist every 4-6 months.  Dr. Buchanan is our assigned doctor.  She does all kinds of fun tests with Christopher that test his skills.  Yesterday we got to bang blocks together, ring a bell (sort of), and eat Cheerios (yum!).  If there seems to be issues we get referred to another specialist to work on them.

So far everything is great!  Dr. Buchanan said that Christopher’s development is awesome for how early he was.  He is actually caught up with his gross motor skills (crawling and sitting), and within normal range for his adjusted age for his fine motor  and language skills.  I have actually been worrying over his language skills because we’re still just getting a lot of dadas and not much else.  But, the doctor said he is right in line for 8-9 months and probably after he starts walking he’ll take more time to concentrate on the talking.

We go back to see Dr. B in March to check Christopher’s progress at the adjusted age of 1 year.  I’m excited to see how it turns out.  So far, we have been so lucky with our little guy it’s almost hard to remember that he was a preemie and that we do have to watch for delays.  We’re just so proud of him!

For more info on developmental delays and early childhood intervention you can visit the March of Dimes link posted under sites we love.  They have some great info and links for families with preemies.

Remember November is prematurity awareness month!!