Kelli - posted on 12/07/2008 ( 3 moms have responded )
My 3 and 1/2 year old son has global developmental delay with a sensory component. He was diagnosed with speech delay at 21 months and we entered the early intervention system. We had him further evaluated and found out he also needed OT, PT, and developmental therapies. It was so hard to take it all in, but we immersed him in any therapies EI recommended and could provide. When he aged out of EI at 3, he entered a blended preschool program in our school district that has been amazing. We augment the school therapies with private therapies over the summer. We are very fortunate to live in an area with strong services for special needs children. I can speak from experience that I was very frustrated at times however, my little guy has made tremendous gains and does appear to be catching up.
He also was diagnosed with a rare but benign visual disorder known as "spasmus nutans" at 9 months old. The symptoms include nystagmus (beating of the eye), head bobbing and head tilting. The cause is unknown but the symptoms decrease over time (this has been the case with my son). We were followed by an opthalmologist until therapists in the early intervention system referred us to a developmental optometrist. We owe so much to this doctor who recommended not only vision therapy but eventually put my son in glasses and this has been a tremendous help to him. My son has had sensory issues (primarily visual) and working with the optometrist and vision therapist really helped.
All of the therapies as well as a lot of work at home have really made the difference not only with his motor skills and his speech development, but with his sensory integration as well. My best advice is to be the strongest advocate for your child/children that you can be and fight for whatever you feel they need. I had some dark days when this all started, but I can say that things can get better. He has come really far and we are so grateful for that.
I am embarrassed to admit that I am a PT and I put off evaluating him because I kept telling myself he would talk, walk, etc. If you have even the slightest inkling that something is wrong, ask your pediatrician for a referral for therapy evaluations.
I would love to hear anyone else's stories and offer guidance where I can.