Wednesday, March 18, 2009

No "A" for effort

Max had a busy day at the HSC; in addition, several patients are leaving which added to the general aura of bustle.  Also, Carolyn reports that, mysteriously, the floor was waxed in the middle of the day using an industrial buffer.

At noon, the occupational therapist, A., took Max (with Carolyn tagging along) to the playroom.  Last week, he tolerated the playroom for only 10 minutes.  Yesterday he spent an hour there with his brother, mainly in his stroller.  Today, the therapist worked on arm stretches, tummy time, and shaking a rattle.  According to A., babies find the playroom stressful because it's a more open environment than they're used to and there are stimulating visuals in all directions.  Max, however, enjoyed his time there.

Physical therapist M. and her assistant came to give Max a formal assessment.  Testing took 45 minutes; Carolyn said she was worn about by the time it was over.  The results didn't have any surprises.  Max got poor marks for his ability to bring his arm around when partially turned over, and more or less failing grades for his trunk tone and head control.  He also didn't turn his head when prompted by M., although this is something I've seen him do many times.  That part of the test came at the end of the assessment and Max was probably too tired to perform.  As always, Max got excellent grades for his state of alertness and his social interaction.  M. appears to have been captivated by Max and was apologizing to Carolyn for having to give him poor marks on so many areas.  Carolyn explained that "no one gets an 'A' for effort".  M. seems to be rooting for Max in a way that's--in our experience--a little unusual for therapists.

Carolyn  and I debated tonight whether Max was manipulating adults--for example M.--or simply charming them.  I argued that, during the stone age, babies must have learnt the survival skill of getting adults to give them food, attention and love.  To me, this seems like manipulation, but not in a bad way.  Carolyn feels that Max is a happy, charming baby who enjoys seeing peoples' faces.  Several of the HSC team have remarked that Max will sometimes cry until an adult face enters his field of view.  Indeed, the nurses sometimes keep him in his stroller by their station so he can watch them at work.  I've come around to Carolyn's point of view, even though I think Max's charm offensive probably gets him a little extra attention.  Max is a fundamentally happy child who enjoys spending time with people.

The replacement camera arrived today, although we're still trying to figure it out.  Carolyn took the video camera in, and I'll try to edit and post some content tonight.