We have been working hard in therapy for Johnny. He is getting really good at supported sitting, he is strong enough, but needs a little help with his balance, particularly on his left side, he always tends to topple over to that side. He is enjoying sitting up more though and I think he is ready to be a big boy who get's to play with toys that way. He tries to crunch himself up more and more in the car seat or when we are holding him in a cradle hold. This is good strength training though! As I previously wrote he is rolling all over the place to be more mobile which is excellent in my book! Sometimes he will roll just to change positions, but other times it is with the purpose of getting a toy or to a different spot to check it out. He is exploring more textures as he rolls around and has tummy time too, he is really doing a lot of the "feeling by scratching" that I remember the girls doing in their first year. He is also straining to scootch for toys that are just out of his reach and will scootch around in a circle if the motivation is right. It is becoming more rare for him to be on the mat or blanket when I return to the room from doing something while he plays. It's so exciting to see him engaging more with his environment and playing of sorts. It wasn't that long ago that he was sleeping all but a few hours of the day!
I am starting to work on his oral tone more with special teethers given to us by ECI and doing lateral chews. Basically these are textured rubber ends on toothbrush like sticks that you put on either side of his mouth to have him bite down on. It will help build his oral tone and make it easier to eat, drink, and talk. He is still verbal and we try to mimic his sounds a lot. I also say "Mama" over and over around him which always elicits big smiles on his part. I am starting to get more focused on signing with him, we have done "milk" and "food" frequently, I would like to add in "more", "sleepy", "book", and "play".
We will be meeting our new OT next Friday. Our old OT was moved up to a different position and the transition was only bumped back a week. I will miss our old OT and would have very much liked her to stay on a bit longer (especially since Johnny is due for a reevaluation), but the new one just finished more schooling and has a lot of experience with Speech development. I guess I will take it!
We will continue working on supported sitting, I would really like him to have a better mastery of that over the next couple of weeks. We are also getting him up into a crawling position more (I need a video of that- along with the other videos I "owe" the blog) and need to break out the exersaucer since he loves to stand! We are slowly building those muscles up on this big guy.
As a small aside, I mentioned how much he likes his food chunky with added cereal to another Ds mom and she said her researched showed that this was because of the low oral tone in kids with Ds. If the food is pureed to much, it will pool into the sides of their mouth and they cannot work it out or don't feel it to work it out. I found that interesting. Good thing for me, extra chunky food means a few extra calories to give Mommy a break from pumping so much! Ok, it is only a difference of an ounce or so, but still...