Gah.... I cannot believe the twins are four....FOUR. I seriously don't know how that happened. Four years ago we were praying and hoping and wondering if we'd make it this far.
Good news is, we are and we are thriving.
But I feel the need to say this.... prematurity does not end when you leave the NICU. Not every preemie catches up by age two (or three) in spite of what many statistics and clinicians have said. I'm also going to say that, not every preemie will suffer long term delays.
We are still dealing with lingering effects from Addison being born prematurly. I never thought at four years old we'd still be in OT, PT, and Behavioral Therapy.
Has she made huge strides? HELL YES!
Has she narrowed the gap between where she is and where she should be? ABSOLUTELY!
BUT, is she developmentally your average "typical" four year old? Not quite.
Things is though, most of her delays are hiding behind the scenes; mostly. I see it because I'm with her everyday. Her current teacher and her therapists see it.
So as I said, she is still in PT; working on balance, low tone and core strength. She's also in the process of getting orthotics to help with her ankle stability among other things. Truth be told Addison is pretty excited about this because she got to pick out the design and as if there was any doubt, she'll be rocking fairy princesses.
A month ago we added Behavioral Therapy - probably sounds odd for a four year old. But... she has some anxiety and self esteem issues that we are building on. She asks a lot of questions because she is often so uncertain of things. And a lot of time it's on repeat. But it's her way of reassurance. We often spend a lot of time going over social stories to help her understand what's happening.
After being on the wait list for awhile, we've now also added Occupational therapy, again. She struggles with fine motor and motor planning. Some of that motor planning comes into play with the above too. Addison will have a handful of different goals to work towards here.
Truth is, when we went to her OT eval, I had totally been expecting them to add services. But when we walked out, and I had a moment to myself; I cried. Because frankly, it sucks. And I wish that Addison didn't have to struggle.
As much as I don't want all of this to define Addison... it does. It has made her fierce, brave, strong, and probably most of all DETERMINED! And I couldn't possibly be more proud of her. She is constant reminder to me to never take a single moment for granted and to never underestimate.
Her Cleft Palate team was overwhelmingly pleased with her in October and the fabulous news is that her speech is on track. Doctor even thinks we might have gotten away with just ONE surgery. Time will tell.
Up next is Pre K/preschool interviews. We've narrowed it down to two. Unfortunately our district doesn't offer public Pre K currently so we are going to private Pre K to prep both Addison and Blake for the big K!