Today, Tehilla had an evaluation for physical therapy at Hitpatchut Hayeled (Child Development). We met with a very nice and thorough physical therapist. While I ran through Tehilla's long medical history, Tehilla explored their therapy room.
One thing that you need to know about Israel's special education and special needs facilities and treatments, are that they are extraordinary and beyond affordable thanks to socialized medicine. We walked into their offices and were greeted by vibrant and exciting wall features. These features had mirrors and strands of large beads, and things to pull, poke and feel around. Tehilla instantly wanted to jump out of the stroller and play around. The therapy rooms are full of playmats, ball pits, ramps, stairs, monkey bars and closets full of toys.
I spoke with the physical therapist for awhile about why we felt Tehilla should be evaluated and what concerns we had. The therapist took a great deal of time to understand Tehilla's diagnosis. The first thing that she asked me, after the medical history, before beginning the evaluation was "Is she afraid of strangers? How will she react to me?" I found that really remarkable for her to acknowledge and inquire about. I explained to her that Tehilla has a lot of fears and about her blood pressure. She asked me to participate in the session.
She brought out various toys that tested her gross and fine motor skills, and watched Tehilla communicate and move around. One of the toys that she played with Tehilla was a shape sorting toy. She took a ball out and gave it to Tehilla to put back in the bin. Tehilla did it several times. Then she took the ball and put it in the bin and put the shape sorting cover on, to watch if Tehilla could take the cover off. Tehilla did, and then the therapist took it from Tehilla and put it back inside the bin with the cover. Again, Tehilla opened the bin and took it out. When the therapist took the ball from Tehilla again and put it in the bin, Tehilla stopped and looked up at the woman and gave her a super annoyed look that definitely was meant to say, "What's your problem, lady?" It was pretty funny.
Later she wanted to see Tehilla walk along the wall and the floor length mirror. She moved Tehilla's magnets away to get her to come towards them. Tehilla was offended and looked at me and started crying.
Tehilla did very well. The physical therapist said that she is very pleased with Tehilla's development. She said that she is on track for development, but on the lower end of the spectrum. This is completely expected given the 3 surgeries, 3 heart catheters and various other hospital stays that she has been through. She said that she is not concerned about Tehilla, at all.
That being said, she would like to monitor Tehilla's development and have sessions with her, but on a very reduced schedule. She wants to see her again in 3 weeks. She just wants to watch Tehilla's development and give her a little bit of a push in the right direction. She gave us two specific activities that she would like us to practice at home.
All in all, it was a great appointment!
I'm not sure if I've spent enough blog space (is there ever enough?)
expressing my thanks to G-d, for all the blessings that He has brought
into our lives and all of the good that he has done for Tehilla. We have
so much to be thankful for, and this is just another one of those
things. At the end of the day, our little Tehilla with her half a heart, is alive, and well. Not just well, but progressing, developing and doing exactly what a baby her age should be doing. We are lucky to see the hand of G-d through our daughter and have the ability to praise Him. Thank you, G-d, for our three healthy thriving children.