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Rutilo is a 1-year-old mighty miracle who was born at 23 weeks and spent the first 8 months of his life in the NICU. He was once tiny but has always been strong.

Rutilo began occupational therapy at 8 months old and has a diagnosis of Unspecified disorder of psychological development and Dysphagia, oropharyngeal phase. At that time, his mother was concerned due to his inability to reach, grasp, and visually track toys, which affected his ability to independently explore his environment and participate in play/social activities with his family.

Occupational therapy first began by addressing reaching and grasping. During sessions, Rutilo engaged in tummy time, which included placing rattles, music, and light up toys within and outside of reach to improve his core and upper extremity strength as well as coordination for reaching and exploring his environment. OT also focused improving Rutilo’s ability to visually track various fun and interactive toys from left and right sides and through midline while in a supported sitting. Initially, he struggled to participate in these activities, however, with Rutilo’s mother and family’s increased involvement in his therapy and carry over of a daily home exercise program, Rutilo began showing significant progress in basic movements as well as improved his ability to play and explore his environment.

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Therapy continues to unlock greater potential for Rutilo. After receiving therapy for five months, he has shown improved fine motor, reaching, and visual tracking skills as well as greater social interaction with his family. He is now able to reach for toys using bilateral hands, grasp a bottle and bring it to his mouth and manipulate toys placed in his hand. Occupational therapy has allowed Rutilo to have increased independence during play exploration and has allowed him to socially interact with his family. Occupational Therapy has changed Rutilo’s and his family’s lives and has made their days together more fun and enjoyable.

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