Thursday, September 13, 2012

Moving Ahead

Perfect? No. Beautiful? You betcha.
We are finished with Baby Dibbs's helmet therapy! They graduated him and even gave him a diploma (the first of many, Mommy hopes).

I wanted to share our before and after photos for those parents who might stumble upon my blog looking for information about plagiocephaly.

Our pediatrician and his staff noticed Dibbs favoring his right side at his 1mo and 4mo appointments and directed us to a company called Cranial Technologies. They took measurements, photos, and a digital image to create a helmet unique to his head shape and growth needs.

Our faux head - produced from the 360-degree digital imaging or DSI
And because I am geeky, I hand painted the helmet with acrylic paint to look like R2-D2. :)

Here are his before and after photos. We are very satisfied with the results after only 7 weeks.

Looking at the right profile, you can see his head tilting toward the camera and a square bulge in his forehead. He also had significant flattening in the area of the skull just above this right ear. In the after shot, you can see that he holds his head straighter and that his head rounded out more.

Right Profile
The left profile shot is really interesting to me because of how strangely that right forehead bulge pops out in the beginning. He had a little flattening on the left side, too, which they said was odd since the back area (the occipit) seemed rounded. It's almost as though his head was pinched in the back - which probably means that, in utero, he found a comfortable place and shoved his head there.

Left Profile
In the aerial view, you can see the way his head was trying to grow at an upward, rightward shift from favoring lying on his right side. You can see the flat areas on either side of the back of the head and the way one ear and cheek and side of the forehead were moving forward. In the after shot, you can see that the flattened areas grew in volume and the symmetry improved. It may be slight, but it's significant.

Aerial View
This last shot shows just how far his right side was protruding compared to his left side. One cheek appears higher, as well as his forehead. In the after shot, his forehead and cheeks are even.
Note how his cheeks leveled out!
Here are two photos of the head mold inside the helmet. Any space between the helmet and the mold is where his head grew in. Every week, the therapist would measure his head and shave away parts of the helmet.
his flattened right side
from the top
They can't promise perfect symmetry, but neither can nature. What remains uneven will be unnoticeable under a full head of hair.

At our exit appointment, a woman was there with her 5 month old (that was when we started) and said that they were one week in and she cried every time she looked at her son in the helmet. Another couple was there with their 5 month old and were getting fitted that day. I showed off my little round head, reassured them, and told them all that we grew so accustomed to seeing him in it that we hardly recognized him without.

A week later and now I can't imagine him any different than he is right this moment. Funny what becomes your new normal, eh?


  1. YaY!!! Dibbs IS perfect. Perfectly adorable & kissable. :)

  2. He is perfectly perfect, in every single way.

  3. I have to say, he is adorably cute. How on earth did you/they get him to sit so still for all of those pictures?!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing! My granddaughter needs a helmet! This gives me reassurance. Xo. Kathleen

  5. Thank you for sharing! My granddaughter needs a helmet and this gives me reassurance! Kathleen. Xoxo