Monday, May 12, 2008

Bright's Development

Most everybody who reads this blog knows that Bright was very malnourished for the first year of his life. And with that type of severe malnutrition there are often long-term side effects. We didn't put Bright in a box. We didn't assume that there would be issues. But we were informed and knew it was a possibility.

When Bright came home we saw his physical development improve by leaps and bounds. At 17 months he could stand (if placed in a standing positition) but couldn't roll, couldn't crawl, couldn't sit up from laying down, couldn't walk. By 20 months he was walking, and could roll, and sit up. By 24 months he added crawling to his repretoire and we haven't looked back since! He is completely on target for motor skills (gross and fine).

We kept waiting for Bright to have a huge congitive catch-up, but it never really happened. We didn't want to rush him by going to early intervention services before he had a chance to "get there" on his own, but it became clear in the last few months that our sweet boy just wasn't getting there.

Early Intervention Services came today to do an extensive evalutation on all of Bright's developmental skills. We didn't want to get the news we got, but we expected it. Our little man has significant delays in speech and congitive processing. In order to qualify for services you have to have one 50% delay or two 25% delays. Bright had three 50% delays and five 25% delays in the various areas they tested. His congitive skills are where he is struggling the most--which makes sense considering the malnutrition.

Bright is 31 months old. In most areas he is more like a child a year younger. Is it just a coincidence that he had a year of malnutrition and is behind by a year? Hmm...
There is no way that his body wasn't harmed by the lack of food. We know for sure that a child with that level of malnourishment loses brain connections needed later in order to reach their full potential. It's just a matter of whether Bright would have been a very intelligent child had everything gone right in his life, or if he would have been a more "average" child if everything had gone right. In the end, that will determine whether he will be more "average" as a learning child, or will always need the services of special education.

I have had peace about Bright's future from the very start (well...as soon as we felt like he whould live). Once I saw he could smile and love I knew that the rest was just details! He will be who God meant him to be. I have no doubt that he will grow up and be the man that the Lord intends him to be.

Bright learns. It seems like it just takes him hundreds of hundreds of tries to learn something new, where a typically developing child might learn it in dozens and dozens of times. But his accomplishments are no less exciting when he reaches them--maybe more so! For the first time he is trying to count. Now..he just says nonsense words when you put your fingers up...but at least he "gets" that there is some sort of sequence that he wants to know! And hey! He's also finally starting to recognize that there are colors. He's got some of the color names memorized now. We're just so proud when he looks at an orange shirt and says "Blue!" because hey! It's a color!

Bright is bright, no matter what the tests may say. =-)

Anita


6 comments:

Fabu 10:38 PM  

Big hugs for all of you... I'm so glad Bright has a mom who loves him for who he is and will always celebrate his successes, which is as it should be. :) He is a beautiful, glowing boy- the joy in his eyes is spectacular. All of you kids have that Anita. They are so loved!

melissa 12:37 AM  

i am sooo interested i talking to you. i was looking up ghana adoption stuff because my husband and i just started the process to adopt from ghana through aai. so anyway i was looking up stuff and came across your blog, saw that you were a christian and i think i read that you are from wa? i am! so i would just looove to talk to someone else who has adopted from ghana because of the call to do so. my name is melissa and my email is harleyandaxle@gmail.com
thank you!

Holly 8:06 PM  

Anita-
I really enjoy your blog. I blogged about how MY mother's day perspective has changed since adopting our son from China last August (www.purposedrivenfamily.blogspot.com)
and I see that you share many of my same passions.
God knew that you would be JUST the one for your 3 beautiful kiddos and Bright is amazing!
Thanks for sharing your family with us!

Teri 8:46 PM  

God has placed that little boy into your care and what an amazing job you are doing! For whatever reason, Bright is the way God intended him to be. Lots of kids "grow out" of their cognitive and developmental delays, especially in a loving and nurturing environment. He is what he is. Even the most cognitively advanced children aren't guarenteed happiness or an easy road.
Teri

Story of our Life 12:27 PM  

((HUGS))

Anita, I work for the Birth to 3 (Early Intervention) program in our county.

My youngest received services from the same organization and also the same clinic I work for (there are 2 clinics in one).

What a great difference these services do for little ones.

Although it is not what you wanted to hear. THere is a peace of mind that comes with knowing that you can and will move fwd with all the knowledge you have.

Mr. Bright is in the right hands!! The Lord knew your love and home would help him flourish!!

The huge gains he has made tells my heart that all will be well (or as much as it can be) with Bright.

He is so darn cute!! (All of your kids are!!).

I bet he doesn't wear those jeans anymore. hehehehe~~

bbqdaisy 9:14 PM  

Hi Anita :)

I just wanted to tell you that I love reading your blog! I read it here and there and have never posted on it before! So just wanted to say THANKS for all of the posts, they minister to my heart!

I TOTALLY get what you are saying about your ADORABLE Bright, we are totally there with our Faith!!

Blessings and again THANKS!
Maria