Share the first part of MyPerfectGirl's story for readers on Sleuth! When and why did you start to feel concerned?
During pregnancy I barely felt her move. But scans always showed a healthy baby. At 3 months she was diagnosed with Plagiocephaly (flat head) while in hospital for a respiratory virus. So we were referees to to a neurosurgeon, who said it would correct itself and she was dismissed until 10 months when I emailed photos back to the neurosurgeon of how bad her head had gotten. They called us in for an urgent appointment the next day and she was diagnosed with brachycephaly (her head protruded severely on one side from laying on it all the time) and had to start helmet therapy. Other than that I was worried as she was not rolling or sitting like my first child had, so I’d been taking her to different general practitioners and 3 Physios, but everyone told me she was just lazy and overweight. The hard thing was, no one was linking the flat head to her inability to move. I felt like I was going crazy in this period. Finally, at about 11 months I took her to see an amazing paed listened to me, and as soon as he picked her up he said “she has low muscle tone” and diagnosed hypotonia and the diagnosis process started (genetics, referral for an MRI etc).
Share the first part of baby boy's story for readers on Sleuth! When and why did you start to feel concerned?
I am a first-time mom. My son is 23 months old now. My son prefers to sleep on one side of his head, and when he was eight months old, he developed a lopsided head. We took him to a neurosurgeon - I believe that is the type of doctor that assessed him - and he was diagnosed with plagiocephaly. To reshape his head, he got a helmet that he had to wear 23 hours a day. He was wearing this thing, and it was hard for him to sit up. Every time he would sit up, he would fall backwards. He would bang it and I would hear him in the helmet when he was sleeping at night. Well, I don't know if it's because of a helmet, but he didn’t start walking until he was about 17 months old. Everything he did, he did really late. Initially, he qualified for Early Intervention because of his medical condition, and because he wasn't sitting up yet by himself or crawling. I thought the helmet was going to come off and he would be a typical, developing child. Unfortunately, it just took him a really long time. He did crawl, but he did it really late. He did sit up finally, but he was almost one. Then, I was concerned he wasn't walking. I had thought “Oh, well, it's okay. At 13 months, we'll do it.” Nope. 14 months. Nope. He was almost 17 months old when he started - that’s late! He’s still struggling with how he walks. He trips and falls a lot. He still has physical therapy. He walks like he doesn't have the muscles in his legs - like a penguin, that would be my interpretation. And he doesn't pay attention to where he walks. He doesn't look straight ahead. He's walking and he's looking over here, and I keep telling him “Look ahead! Look where you're going!” He bumps into the wall, and he'll trip and fall. It's like this catch 22. I am nervous about taking him out walking, because I feel like he's going to fall. But if I don't take him out walking, he doesn't get to practice the skill. And he's not talking. He's now at 23 months, and he has no words. He has a speech therapist that we do Skype with once a week. She gives us suggestions and advice on how to repeat (and repeat, and repeat) certain things. He says, “Mama”. He was saying “Papa,” but he stopped and that's where we are today. People tell me, “I wouldn't worry. My son didn't talk until he was three years old.” Or, “My son didn't talk until two and a half.” Things like that. I have a lot of friends with kids his age, and I’m on certain Facebook groups. We do video [chats], and I see how communicative their kids are. How they say, “Hi!” This one little girl said, “Happy birthday!” I have this hope that it's going to happen. But the reality is, nobody really knows if he's going to communicate or not. That's the biggest stressor for me. Not knowing.
lopsided head shape observed