Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Early Intervention went really well last week. Elijah had his OT, PT, and a vision consultant visiting him. He was in a fantastic mood, fresh from a nap, and therefore it was a good session.

He tolerated being put into all sorts of different positions, held his hands open more to bear weight on them, and didn’t cry at all. (He usually gets upset about something…all that therapy is a lot for a baby to take). The vision consultant mostly just observed the session, but I’ll talk more about his vision later.

I’ve been seeing some major changes occurring in Elijah lately. He is more and more responsive every day. He loves to laugh and smile and does both quite often. We’re blessed to hear him giggle at least once a day, whenever something funny strikes him.

The OT and PT were quite positive about the progress Elijah is making and I’m so glad. The PT said that she was so excited because he is making so much progress each month when she comes to see him. That’s nice to hear. And when she said it, I could tell that she was actually excited. Yes, he is behind his peers, but he keeps improving and so I force myself to focus on the positive.

The vision consultant mostly just observed the session, but I did ask her some questions before they all left. While she isn’t qualified to give a diagnosis, she seemed to think that Elijah might have Cortical Vision Impairment. This isn’t something that is surprising to me; in the research I’ve done a lot of kids with brain injury have CVI.

So what is CVI? Basically, it means that while there is nothing wrong with the child’s eyes, the brain has a hard time distinguishing what the eyes are receiving. It also means that extra stimuli make it more difficult for the child to see. For example, if a toy is really noisy and flashy, Elijah may ignore it altogether because it’s too much for him to take in. Or if too much is going on, he simply might “shut off” his eyesight because it’s too much for his brain to process. I’m not an expert, (nor do I know if this is what Elijah has) but this is what I understand about the disorder.

Personally, I intuitively believe Elijah does have something going on with his eyes and the description of Cortical Vision Impairment makes a lot of sense. There are times that Elijah seems to stare right through things and other times when he seems to be incredibly in tune to his surroundings. This would also explain why he doesn’t really reach for things, because he might not be able to accurately see them.

The good news about CVI (from what I’ve been told) is that it can improve. I have been seeing changes in Elijah and his attentiveness. Before, he would rarely look at me. Now he looks at me and he does it often. He watches when I play games with him. I mentioned that I thought Elijah’s sight was getting better and the OT and PT adamantly agreed with me. He is improving and he will continue.

Keep praying! Pray for his head to grow, for Elijah to reach for and grab things, and for his eyesight. Pray for a complete recovery. I still believe that he can get there with a lot of hard work and with God’s blessing.

By the way, this week is Spring Break here, so Elijah and I have the week off. We don’t have our Infant Class and Early Intervention won’t be coming. What will we do with ourselves? :)


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