I'm so glad you wrote in! I never knew anything about plagiocephaly until my son came home from Taiwan with a SEVERE case of plagio/brachycephaly from lying on his back in a crib constantly (he was neglected, and that's a separate issue).
I spoke with his pediatric craniofacial surgeon here in Dallas, who assured me that it would get better on its own. Then, I did a little research on my own and found out that that's not always true--in fact, in many cases it's blatantly FALSE. I am a member of the OlderPlagiocephaly Yahoo! group, and I can tell you that there are many, many children from all over the world with this issue, and many family who have gotten terrible advice from medical professionals. Once a child is over age 3, there is little that can be done for plagio. And, YES, there are lots of older children with unresolved plagio out there, but you tend not to notice as much because they have more/thicker hair to cover it.
Here's the deal with the helmet. There are docs who will tell you that plagio is merely cosmetic, and there are docs who will tell you that, because the head is shaped incorrectly there will be abnormal pressure on certain areas of the brain which may cause delays. There is also the issue of facial asymmetry (misaligned eyes, ears, etc) from the abnormal head. My son came home at 22 months, and the "normal" age cut-off for the band is 18 months. Once I spoke to the moms on the OlderPlagio boards and listened to their heartbreak about not being able to help their children, I decided to try to get him banded, despite the costs. I had to fight tooth and nail, including calling the president of Cranial Technologies and bullying his craniofacial surgeon, to get him fitted, but eventually he got the band. He's been wearing it 17 weeks now, and we have seen an AMAZING difference in his head shape. There is far less asymmetry and forehead bossing, and, although the back isn't classically rounded, it is MUCH MUCH better than it was. Its easy to see his progress, as the techicians at Cranial Tech bring out his original mold every time we go in for a re-adjustment. My son's head will never be perfect, but it is far better than it was.
When we began this saga, my husband and I were on the fence about banding and had finally decided to go for it. My son had *just* gotten his band when we went out for a family dinner at CiCi's pizza. The manager there came up to us rather shyly and asked if the band was to help round out my son's head. I told him, yes, it was, and he replied "Man, I wish they'd had something like that when I was a kid. Look at my head...its terrible". He did indeed have unresolved plagiocephaly, and it had affected his life and self-esteem, even it it hadn't caused developmental delays. I knew definitively at that point that we'd done the right thing.
Every family makes their own choices, but the choice will be made for you soon because time is passing. I encourange you to at least go and have your child evaluated by a banding company (you'll need a doctor's prescription for a fitting, but not for an evaluation), and make your decision from there. Plagio does NOT always correct itself, and you need all the facts/options on hand to go forward.
Best of luck and feel free to PM me if you'd like!