Friday, June 13, 2008

CHOP evaluations

We were at Children's hospital of Philadelphia international adoptions clinic yesterday. The clinic is a doctor and a psychologist and an occupational therapist who evaluate from available medical records and the presence of the parents to interview. They also directly relate to the child/ren.

We were not sure the best way to go about it. Gregg wanted to be involved, not just the babysitter of the one not being evaluated. And it was possible that they would do better together than apart.

We had more than 3 hours, plus another half hour afterward with the doctor explaining things. We were overwhelmed. The boys were more than overwhelmed and did not have adequate space and activity for their usual behavior.

So the therapists got to see the various regressions they do under stressful or unpleasant circumstances. And they did not get to see what they could really accomplaish. This was upsetting to mama.

The therapists understood we were there for a limited time and were trying to get as much info from us and given to us as possible. (They may do more followup visits over the first years with other families) Fortunately, they will also send reports to us as there was too much to absorb in that visit.

Once we get that and digest it we may share a bit more. The most immediately helpful should be various behavior management tools and ways of understanding the complex history that has produced the challenges. Some of this we have been aware of already. Generally we have been heading the right direction it seems, but there is more to learn.

One comment I made to the therapists is that I sometimes feel I am working with the age range of 6 months old to 4 years old within the same child at different times. They responded- you are exactly right. Their emotional and psychological developments are at different levels and need response that is appropriate to that level. Hopefully there will be more help in understanding how to identify and respond to those things!

It makes some sense that the boys are experiencing so many things for the first time. First one-one interactions consistently, first adult to try to completely bond to. First times to sleep without others in the room, First times to wait for food to be made such as in restaurants. First time to ride long distances. And oh so many more things we take for granted from the first 2 years of life.

And on the lighter side, it is great fun to keep exploring other age appropriate things too, playgrounds, huge bubble wands, riding bike, ice cream cones, jumping waves and so on.

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