Early intervention…

As I have mentioned before Avy was a little delayed walking, well even standing. He would never stand, even holding onto something, much before his first birthday. We started being concerned as he would do not do anything that had to do with bearing weight on the legs. So this program called Early Intervention (this is a state-run program, most states have it, that deals mainly with helping parents cope with developmental delays in their kids) was suggested to us by our pediatrician and he said we could wait or call them. I believe in having things done as soon as possible, especially when it comes to health, I believe in sooner the better.  So I made the call and after a couple of cancelled appointments due to Avy’s health, they finally came in September 2009 and evaluated him for the first time. A physical therapist, a child developmental specialist and a coordinator visited us.

They kind of reinforced what we knew about him, he was slow in the motor skills area but very ahead in his cognitive skills. But the physical therapist felt that even though he was slow, his muscle tone etc were fine so she wanted us to wait. She said to give him 3 months and if he was not walking by then, or bearing weight, we would address it. He slowly but steadily started standing, but it was not until a week before the 3 month deadline did he start walking.

So nearly 7 months have gone by, but he still walks with the weight on the inner side of his feet, while they had mentioned that it would gradually shift to the outside. Also, he alsmot always keeps his toes clenched, which sometimes makes him trip and fall. So I made the call again, to have them come out and see if anything needs to be done.  So yesterday was the chosen day 🙂

The appointment was at 3.30, I went and picked up Avy from his daycare and reached home by 3.25. Two of the three people came and started the evaluation. Here is where it got really funny…

Avy was a kid who knew how to do his entire shape puzzle by the time he was 15 months old, 8 shapes (circle, square, rectangle, oval, star, heart, triangle and diamond), and he could name them all by the time he was 16 months, yet, yesterday when she pulled out her puzzle and handed him the biggest circle to be fitted correctly, he just stared at me blankly…:). Like as though this was the first time ever he has seen a circle, and what more, when she asked him what shape it is, he saw me and asked “uh?”….I was speechless.:)

But after some coaxing he did fit the puzzles correctly, but would not name them at all, not till the end. And then to continue in his defying trend, the physical therapist asked me to ask him to stand and go get something, since she wanted to see how he would stand up (with or without using the floor as a crutch)…so I ,ever so sweetly,

Amma: “Avy, can you go get amma the big ball?”

He looks at me and points to the ball. I say “yeah, can you go bring it?”…and guess what he does??

HE CRAWLS!!!!…..now say what you want, but when people come to evaluate his legs, the last thing I want him doing is crawling instead of walking 🙂 The room was filled with laughter!!

Then, we got the Bramashthram (a weapon given as a boon by Lord Brahma, one mega powerful one) out. His A,B,C puzzle. See I am shamelessly proud that my son knows his A, B,C..and that he has known it since he was 20 months. So we pull out the 26 piece puzzle, hoping against all odds that he breaks the trend of the evening, and proves to the world how smart he is….my son came through!! He dazzled them with putting all of them correctly and naming all the letters perfectly.

The lady asked us if he was forming 2 and 3 word sentences. I said, “Yes”, while Ajit, very pleasingly adding “Yeah whenever he forms a 2 word sentence, one word would have to be No” (No amma, No appa, No thatha, No Patti, No paal…etc etc)

We then went through series of discussions as to what needs to be done etc etc. Here is the conclusion:

a) His legs need some kind of attention, so we are going to work with a physical therapist twice a month for that. Nothing alarming, just to help him get there. As far the toe clenching goes it maybe in the genes, as his dad does it till today!!!

b) He is way advanced in all his other cognitive and emotional skills. She said as much as being 27 months and 30 months in some areas. SO I was proud 🙂 She told us that we have done great…and feels good once in a while to be validated. They said they have not seen a kid whip out a puzzle and do it all in any of their home visits :)…ellam ennoda ABC paithiyum 🙂

So I am sure with a little help he is going to be walking better. I would also like to add that any parent reading this, or anyone who knows a parent worrying if their kids are developing properly, motor skill-wise or speech issues or any other concerns, feel free to call this agency in your state (of course in the USA, but am sure there are similar organizations in India). They come out and evaluate free of cost, and the charge for the services are minimal too. Please do not hesitate, it might appear as though we are making a big fuss about nothing, but as the old adage goes, ‘Prevention is better than cure’. It is your kid, nothing you do to keep them happy and safe, even if it seems over the top ever goes waste!

With the clenched toes…trying to stand…



  1. telugumom said,

    July 1, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Sarath was the same way with walking. He did not walk until 14 months. After that he started running around! i am sure Avy will do fine with the help of physical therapy. Good that you guys got the evaluation.

    I must say though it felt like I was reading about Sarath in your post. He was the same. Did his puzzles and was able to identify the ABC’s by around 17 months. He even has the same toy that Avy has in the picture and he calls it ‘Simba’!

  2. Pavithra said,

    July 2, 2010 at 6:39 am

    It is good that you guys identified something that would assist him in the future. I often have a ot of elders say things like you’re reading too much into things, but I think ultimately, the parent usually has an instinct about something. As you rightly pointed out in your blog, whatever you can do to help your little one.

    I was laughing at the bit where he refused to do what was asked of him in front of a third party. Reminds me of Ashaanka and a lot of other kids I used to work with. I guess they don’t like being asked to do something in front of someone else, if they’re nto ready to do it…sort of a ‘control’ issue and they are right to feel that way. Avy’s very cute and am sure he will be running around like a maniac very soon! Often, kids who are ‘slower’ in their developmental milestones become extremely adept when they catch on. These milestones, again, are only a benchmark and don’t really mean anything if the child is emotionally and physically well.
    One of Ashaanka’s friends started walking when she was close to 17 months and now she’s two-and-a-half and is extremely good at her gymnipper classes. I was also going to suggest putting Avy in gymnippers, an off-shoot of gumnastics classes for toddlers from when they’re 18 months. The classes here in the UK, which Ashaanka has been attending since she was 18 months old is very good. They sing songs, rhymes, and there are lots of gym equipment for them to try out at their level. Slowly, they lend to lose any fear that they have and explore. It’s extremely good for cognitive, motor skills and just plain physical development. It would be good fore Avy to see other kids having fun and just enjoy himself. Ashaanka, was initially very hesitant to try swinging or just climbing the equipment, but as she gained confidence, she just started enjoying herself. She has gained a lot of confidence and it has helped when I take her out to the parks or trampoline centre, since she’s a kid with high energy levels and needs an outlet ever so often.

    All the best to you guys,



  3. anithoughts said,

    July 2, 2010 at 8:06 am

    Maybe we should form a club. adi started walking when he was one; but he was not really enthu about it. We had to force him to walk. But he knew more than 50 words on his first b’day. Even now he doesn’t run like other kids and keeps falling down whenever he tries to match others. I’ve discussed this prob with 3 doctors here, but all of them brushed it off saying he’s just careless.

  4. avymom said,

    July 2, 2010 at 8:11 am

    Thanks for all the comments:
    Telugumom: I will do you tag today 🙂 Thanks for sharing your similar experience
    Pavi: That was so nice of you! I will definitely look into some sort of gym class and see if that will help Avy. I think as parents we want to leave no stone unturned…and more often than not our instincts are correct!
    Anitha: Yeah di, brainy kids groupnu start pannuvom, and they can teach each other to run…LOL

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