I may have inadvertently sounded a bit vague or mysterious when I mentioned that we needed to provide a medical test report for Little Red’s NDIS application. I didn’t specifically mention what test because I wanted to be more thorough in my explanation of what it actually was. It’s name is the Bayley’s Test. I’ll now try my best to explain what it is and what our experience of undertaking it was like.
WHAT IS THE BAYLEY’S TEST?
My understanding is that the Bayley’s Test is primarily for children who are aged three and under and who have been born before twenty nine weeks. It’s designed to see whether the child is within “normal” or below average ranges both physically and cognitively. It’s based on their corrected age and specifically focuses on a variety of things, those being:
- problem solving;
- gross motor skills;
- fine motor skills;
WAITING TO WAIT
We saw the neonatologist at the NICU Clinic waaaaay back at the beginning of the year. It was decided that both girls take part in a Bayley’s Test. Mainly because of all of Little Red’s health issues and also because our pediatrician agreed that it wouldn’t hurt to get it completed.
Anyway, cue me not hearing anything and a lot of back and forth between departments. It appeared to be too difficult to simply put Baby Bear on the waiting list. When it became apparent that it was pretty urgent for our NDIS application I called to find out when our appointment would be and to see if it could be fast-tracked for LR. You can imagine my frustration when I was informed both girls actually weren’t on ANY waiting list at the hospital.
I felt pretty deflated and told the receptionist how upset I was that this simple request by various doctors and allied health staff was seemingly being ignored. Especially since it had been confirmed that repeated requests were in all of her medical notes throughout the whole year.
Anyway, a few hours later a department head called me and offered an appointment for LR for the following week. I was pretty grateful and relieved to just get it sorted without having to go to the bottom of the list. It’s these unnecessary stresses that can make me feel really down, purely because I just feel so helpless and vulnerable when it happens.
I took LR to our local NICU Clinic for the Bayley’s and we were there for approximately two hours. It was pretty intense from a concentration viewpoint. My job was really to help the doctor in trying to explain to LR what he wanted her to do. This included asking her to point out pictures in books, feed a dolly, stack blocks etc.
There was also a gross motor skills test where we went to the room LR has physiotherapy. The doctor checked her left leg spasticity, how she walked, got up and down stairs and if she could throw or kick a ball.
ON THE SPOT RESULTS
I’m still waiting for the official report but the doctor stated he believes LR is okay cognitively and that her fine motor skills are also within the normal range. She has receptive language skills which means she understands but doesn’t really communicate verbally. He also mentioned that her gross motor skills “could be better”.
He advised me that he may suggest LR sees a speech therapist as well as continuing with her physio. Two things I’m not really concerned about. I say concerned when the better word is probably that it’s unsurprising. Given the Cerebral Palsy type symptoms with both of her legs then obviously her gross motor skills are going to cause red flags.
In terms of speaking, Little Man didn’t really start talking until he was well over three. I don’t necessarily think it’s something I’ll worry about but I’m pleased it’s been formally picked up regardless.
AND NOW I NEED A BAILEYS!
I was completely unprepared for how mentally draining I would find it. I don’t really drink anymore, but boy, I could have done that night!
I hope you found this interesting or educational or comforting (depending on why you’re reading!). You can see more of Little Red’s health journey by clicking here. Giving us a big thumbs up on Facebook would also be very much appreciated. My goal is to raise awareness about children’s health, our journey with it all and to support other parents who may also have a child who is going through a medical investigation.