Sunday, March 1, 2009

Disability Education & Philosophy

I'm starting to look around the internet for information on what to expect as we approach viability.

Our doctors say viability is 24 weeks, but there are cases where babies survive before that.

In a quick tour of the internet yesterday I found this article that sums up the stage we are in reasonably well. It references this study: Neurologic and Developmental Disability at Six Years of Age after Extremely Preterm Birth. Both articles cover from now until 26 weeks (5 weeks from now).

Some highlights:

  • 41 percent of the extremely premature group have severe or moderate mental impairment at six years of age

  • 20 percent of the children had no problems, while 22 percent had severe disability, such as severe cerebral palsy (children not walking), very low cognitive scores, blindness or profound deafness

  • The proportion of children with cerebral palsy with severe or moderate motor disability was 12 percent, and 24 percent had moderate disability, such as cerebral palsy (but walking), IQ/cognitive scores in the special-needs range, or lesser degrees of visual or hearing impairment

  • one-third (34 percent) had problems considered mild, such as wearing glasses, a squint or low/normal cognitive scores

So when you sum it up, reads like if the baby is born before 26 weeks and survives, he has a 50/50 chance at severe disability.

Herricle is a pretty active baby; he is much more active than Lauren was. But he's a boy so maybe they just are more active in general.

We are hopeful that he's a fighter and if he is one of these extreme preemies he can survive and thrive.

My general philosophy on life is influences by a couple general thoughts:

  • You make our own luck.

  • Do your best with the cards you get dealt.

This philosophy has mostly been applied to my work life tho so it may need some adapting.

My mother is happy I go to church more often now. Maybe that will end up being a more prominent part of my philosophy :)


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  2. Hey! Ok might be time to put away the interweb for a few weeks... :) While premature birth certainly has these statistics, the circumstances surrounding the majority of premature births are also generally quite different than yours. (i.e. genetics and lifestyle are playing in your favor) Hard not to worry, I know. But don't over-prepare yourself for every scenario, either. This, I learned in Florida. :) Love you guys, N

  3. Your little boy has already convinced me that he is a fighter and has a huge will! You have already beat odds in so many ways. Hang in there.

  4. Jeez, this anonymous said... get's me every time. This is Hannah again.