When Grace came home in March we went there a few days after her arrival for an initial medical checkup and bloodwork. We then returned at the end of April for a 3-hour medical and developmental assessment with the doctor and two different child psychologists. It was very thorough and enlightening to participate with Grace in a play-based assessment.
So, today we went back for our 6-month follow-up visit. This time, I had no worries. We have been together for over 1/2 a year and every day I see something new she can do. I have seen her fine and gross motor skills rapidly develop over the last several months, I see her communicating in her own way, I watch her observe her surroundings and respond to things I say. Although the medical information is important, I was mostly excited to meet with the child psychologist who would be doing her developmental assessment again. The last time she was slightly delayed. Nothing more than I had expected based on the cultural differences in Guatemala. I truly believed this gross small motor delay was from lack of exposure rather than a disability. But today I found out for sure.
On some areas of the assessment she is now at the 16-18 month milestones, especially in her receptive language. She didn't do any of her "tricks" for the doctor, but I think she could tell what Grace was able to do just by watching her maneuver around the room, play with toys she has never seen before, and interact with both of us. Right now our only area of concern is the formation of words. Grace really isn't doing this. We think that maybe it is because she has been concentrating on gross motor during the last few months. That was the area of delay in the spring and ended up happening when speech "typically" happens. Since they are both huge areas of development, most children do not do them simultaneously. So, language is going to be our focus for now. First we are going back on Friday for a hearing test and then I will start to try some of the tips I got today. They told me that by the time she is 18 months old Grace should have 10 words she uses consistently. That sounds like a lot to do in 2 1/2 months!
As you leave the parking lot and head to the elevators in the children's hospital there is this huge, colorful mural on the wall of the hallway. It is floor to ceiling and 3-dimensional with parts of animals' bodies sticking out, texture for fur and hair, mirrors embedded in the wall, etc. Grace loves to touch it as she goes down the hall so we have to leave extra time to do this on our way in or out. Today was the first time we have been to this doctor's office since she learned to walk so it was even more fun!Notice the bandage on her left hand...She had two vials of blood drawn from that spot and a TB injection! After she stopped crying, Grace made sure to show everyone her bandage in the elevator and on our way back to the car. So cute!
We also went to see our pediatrician this afternoon for Grace's 15-month check-up and some immunizations. Poor baby got 3 shots! We also found out that she weighs 21 pounds and is now 31 inches tall!
When I was in Guatemala last September, I bought a few gifts I planned to give Grace in the future. One was a jumper that, to me, looked like a first day of kindergarten "special" dress. I also bought her this embroidered top that caught my eye in one of the markets.When I purchased both of these things, I couldn't imagine Grace ever being big enough to wear either one of them and certainly never figured it would be this soon. The other day, I took them out just to look at them. And, good thing, too. The top just fits her perfectly right now and the jumper is likely to fit her next spring around her 2nd birthday....not the first day of kindergarten like I thought! Now I wish I had brought more home with me or that I could go back for a visit. I would shop a little smarter this time, now that I know my girl and how she has grown so fast!