A pseudo developmental profile on Chase, Super Hero 2.5 year old…
I spent this past weekend visiting some old friends, Sher and Craig, who live in Florida. I have known them both since I was 13, before they even knew each other! I met them both online originally. I used to visit Sher every few years, and then she and Craig got married, and I visited them once, and then they had a baby…and I only just now got a chance to see them again! Their baby, Chase, is now 2 and a half! I was looking forward to seeing them and meeting their child.
I quickly realized that Chase is phenomenal. He speaks in complete sentences with proper grammar, has great fine motor skills, great motor skills, and great cognition. I’ve never met a smarter kid his age. And beyond being smart, he was loving and sweet. I was very impressed.
Here was my favorite conversation with him:
Him: ::kisses my arm:::
Me: Thanks! I’m going to take this kiss and put it in my pocket for later.
Him: No! Don’t put it in your pocket! Keep it out!
What I also thought was neat is that they have “Chase Cam” – they have a webcam over his bed to serve as a baby monitor. They can watch him on their TV while in other rooms and it obviously provides more information than just an auditory baby monitor. It could maybe be a great idea for deaf parents (?). Also, they have given the private webcam address to Chase’s grandparents, so they can tune in for bedtime too! It’s otherwise private. 🙂
While Sher & Craig know I am just an OT student and could not do any formal assessments, they were still interested in hearing my opinion on his development, just out of curiosity. I’m no expert but I am going to try and share my thoughts. So, when you think about developmental assessments frequently used in OT, they typically measure some or all of four domains: gross motor, fine motor, cognition, and/or speech.
Speech: you don’t often come across a 2 and a half year old boy who speaks clearly and in complete sentences!!
Cognition: Chase knew his colors, letters, basic numbers, shapes, could easily engage in pretend play, could imitate lots of emotions (ie sad, mad, happy, embarrassed, surprised…), and was able to discuss his opinions. He could verbalize his own feelings and answer “Why” questions with no problem.
Fine motor skills: He still uses a pronated grasp with crayons (a backwards fist with the thumb downward), which I believe is developmentally appropriate at his age. (I don’t have access to any OT material for the next few weeks so if anyone wants to correct me, go for it.). He can manipulate objects within his hands and showed good finger-to-palm translation when handed small objects. That means he could pick up a coin with his index finger and thumb, then move it to his palm and hold it there, without using his other hand for help. I thought that was pretty good for a kid his age!!
Gross motor skills: He appears to be right-handed. He was able to cross midline, walk on his heels, tiptoe, run, jump, dance, balance himself, and climb. He showed good flexibility and motor planning.
The five well-known senses: Appeared within normal limits.
The three lesser-known senses so popular in Ayres’ Sensory Integration:
Proprioception: Normal (sense of body in space)
Vestibular: Normal, he was completely fine & enjoyed being hung upside down or swung high in the air. He would occasionally, but very rarely, show “gravitational insecurity” in regards to being held upside down, but it was typically when not given warning or just not being in the mood.
Tactile: Normal, although he showed slight inconsistency with his ability to handle various tactile challenges. For example, sometimes he would happily stick his entire hand in paint to fingerpaint, while other times he would carefully hold something with just a finger or two to prevent the paint from getting on his hands. However, I think this type of slight inconsistency is normal at this age (or really any age), and that overall Chase is completely developmentally appropriate, advanced in all major domains! I think he is the first kid I’ve spent time with in a long time who did not have some sort of disability!
His Super Hero Aptitude Score: 100% 😉
Disclaimer as always: I’m just a student, and now I’m even without access to my OT materials. I frequently make mistakes or misunderstand. Take everything I say with a grain of salt and go see a real OT. 🙂
His parents and I exchanged a few e-mails about this post, and we clarified some things. We discussed some ideas for texture play – not that he has any issues, but just that it’s fun stuff to do with any kid!!
*Experiment with rough (ie sandpaper) versus smooth (silk)
*Put something grainy into the fingerpaints like oatmeal flakes or seeds..make sure it is nothing sharp.
*Fill up a bin with dried beans and rice, and put toys in it for him to find, and let him just play around with it…(it can get messy so choose wisely where to do this. *Show him some toys with very distinct shapes, put them into a small box with a hand hole in it, and let him put his hand in it and try and decide what object he is holding without looking at it…based solely on feel. It works on tactile discrimination. You can “grade” the activity by showing him the toys first, or only using 2 very diffferent toys, or whatever necessary to make it easier. It may be too advanced for him since he may not be willing to NOT look…
*An entire play session on Texture Time…playing with bumpy, smooth, rough, goey, slimey, watery, hard…basically anything you can think of.
I typed in “sensory games” into Google and found these cool websites below with great ideas. And again – don’t necessarily get stressed out if your kid isn’t cool with all textures. Everyone has their preferences. If you are concerned, contact your pediatrician/OT/someone with a license…;)
Goal for next week: a post on play as occupation