We got the official report back from the NICU follow up developmental clinic. I was pretty optimistic about it when all I had were the preliminary numbers. I read it as soon as it came in the mail and it was even better than I thought.
Here’s the deal: they do bunch of skills tests with Little Miss Minion and they score her on how well she does. It’s pretty much three hours of playing with her with various toys and equipment. Luckily, she’s a pretty easy going kid, so it usually goes pretty smoothly.
At the time of the evaluation, she was 22 months chronological, 19 months adjusted for prematurity. Since she was born three months early, we subtract those three months from her chronological age to give her time to catch up. So for these tests, we are “expecting” her to score closer to 19 months than to 22 months.
Receptive communication: this is how well she understands things that other people say. Ex: we ask her to bring us something or to point to a particular object. She scored at 18 months, which falls into the “average” range.
Expressive communication: this is how well she communicates with others. Ex: pointing to things that she wants, asking for food, toys, etc. she scored at 18 months (average) again.
Gross motor: how well she moves the large muscles in her body. Ex: running, jumping, etc. She scored 18 months here as well, so average again.
Fine motor: how well she moves the small muscles in her body. Ex: coloring, picking things up with fingers. She scored at 20 months here, which is still considered average.
Cognitive: how well she interacts with her environment. Ex: figuring out how to find hidden objects, placing puzzle pieces correctly, etc. She scored at 21 months here, which is considered high.
All in all, she scored at the Average category. That means that she is performing at the same level as other kids born on her due date. This is huge. The last part of the visit is a meeting with one of the neonatologists from the NICU where they discuss the general results. The doctor had to double check his papers because of her nicu chart. Little Miss Minion has hydrocephalus, which usually impacts some aspect of development, and she also has brain damage from the infection. So he was shocked that she was doing so well. His notes include this surprise as he states that her progresss has been very reassuring, given her history of sepsis, hydro, meningitis, periventricular leukomalacia, and four brain surgeries.
The upshot of all of this is that she is well on her way to catching up!