Thursday, January 9, 2014

...Developmental Doldrums...

Since the twins were born premature, and with a low birth weight, we qualified for a bunch of services from WIC (supplemental food for low birth weight multiples is provided to families regardless of their income) to regular developmental screenings.  By the time we found out about WIC the twins no longer qualified, but we have taken advantage of the developmental screenings through The Alliance.  

The screenings are generally fun.  A wonderful woman named Mary Alice comes to the house and basically plays with the kids while asking me questions about their abilities.  The activities gauge their gross motor skills, fine motor skills, problem solving skills, and personal-social skills.  At first, the twins were being screened monthly ( at both their adjusted age and their actual age), but now they are screened every few months.  In between screenings I am sent a questionnaire to complete called the Ages and Stages Questionnaire.

As I looked at the latest questionnaire, I got overwhelmed.  For the first time there were more questions that I couldn't answer right away than ones that I could, mainly because I hadn't tried these activities with the twins.  Here are the questions that I didn't have answers for:

Gross Motor:
5.  Does your child jump with both feet leaving the floor at the same time?

Fine Motor:
2.  Does your child stack six small blocks or toys on top of each other by himself/herself?  (You could also use spools of thread, small boxes, or toys that are about 1 inch in size.)
3.  Does your child use a turning motion with his/her hand while trying to turn doorknobs, wind up toys, twist tops, or screw lids on and off jars?
6.  Can your child string small items such as beads, macaroni, or pasta "wagon wheels" onto a string or shoelace?

Problem Solving:
2.  While your child watches, line up four objects like blocks or cars in a row.  Does your child copy or imitate you and line up at least two blocks side by side?   (You could also use spools of thread, small boxes, or other small toys.)
4.  After watching you draw a line from the top of the paper to the bottom with a crayon (or pencil or pen), does your child copy you by drawing a single line on the paper in any direction?
6.  If you give your child a bottle, spoon, or pencil upside down, does he/she turn it right side up so that he/she can use it properly?

4.  Does your child drink from a cup or glass, putting it down again with little spilling?

Ugh!  Don't they know that I have twins and I don't have the time, or mental fortitude, to experiment with small objects being strung onto a string???  Do you know what that would turn into?  The twins throwing said small objects at each other while simultaneously attempting to whip their strings around like Terrible Towels.  No thanks.  And drink from a cup without spilling???  Who in their right mind wants to test that one out?  Maybe we can try that in the tub...

So here I am, in the Developmental Doldrums because I have to answer these questions, and because I'm disappointed that I don't know the answers to these questions.  Not knowing makes me feel like I'm not doing my Mom-job.  In my defense, no one ever mentioned freaking spools of thread, beads, or one inch toys as GOOD things to have around toddlers.  They're usually classified as choking hazards...

RMH 1/9/14

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