Sunday, January 30, 2011

Some recent photos from January

Realizing that I have written very little during January, I thought I would upload a few photos and try to fill you in on what January has been for us.  Olivia had a 24 hours stomach bug a week ago. She is fine, but it does set her back in the sensory issues of eating.  We are now going to Therapy at the hospital. It is going great! Olivia loves her OT and PT!  Olivia is so brave and friendly there! So good to see!  At therapy we are working on learning about Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). This is extremely common with Ds.  Olivia has this, but not as severe as we have heard some stories about.  So I am reading some books on SPD and learning how we can help Olivia more at home. One thing is that we are encouraging more old fashioned play, and have ruled battery powered toys for gross motor motivation and for when she needs a break (or mommy needs to get laundry started).

Olivia received this drum from her Grandparents M for Christmas. She is getting better and better at it.  It turns out that banging on a drum and listening to us banging on a drum will help her Auditory SPD.  And it is fun! What is not more old fashioned than drumming on a drum!  Notice that Olivia is sitting on her scooter car from Grandparents B. Olivia has discovered that it works great to get her around in a upright position since she is not yet walking.  Olivia likes to motor herself to her shelf and play.  PT encourages her scooter car as it is strengthening her legs, hips and torso.
And it too is Fun!

After Therapy, we stop by the cafeteria for a quick snack! Olivia is starving by this point!
And when we are driving home, she quickly takes a nap!  Therapy is fun, but tiring!

I know Olivia is making a funny face, but she loves playing on her blue ball.  It is strengthening her muscles too, and we are seeing her hips getting stronger so that maybe one day she may just crawl on all fours as opposed to her belly crawling position. Olivia is still adding words and signs to her communication.  When she wants to play with her blue ball, she speaks blue ball.  Now it doesn't sound so clear, but when you take it in context, one really knows that she is trying to say blue ball!  She can also say ball popper, but that toy has been locked up in the closet!!!! (I think it became a "safe place to hide" and not do the more challenging work that she is very capable of doing. As a parent, I want her to have fun. But I also want her to not limit herself to the easy work, when she can enjoy the more challenging work. But given a choice, Olivia will choose easy. I also think that the ball popper is not good for her SPD right now. She loves her ball popper though.)

Making progress in moving on all fours. She cannot crawl, but is pivoting and hopping forward a few inches.

Olivia LOVES LOVES LOVES her car! 

And for one of her battery powered toys, she has a Leap Frog cell phone.
She really loves this and we pretend to call Grandma! Olivia has become a great mimic! 

This was the first time I showed Olivia her sensory box.  It is a 3 gallon bin filled with rice and kidney beans. I have stuck a few beach toys into the box.  Olivia screamed!!!!  She was very upset by this!  The next day, I took it into the kitchen. When Daddy showed an interest in reaching into the box, then so did Olivia. But not for long.  (This is all SPD work.  Olivia is tactile defensive we think. But we know that she has always been very cautious around new things and toys)  We need to try this box again today and see if it goes better. Then we need to try it everyday that follows.   We very much need to get a sandbox this summer!  (Spring actually!)  Just a small plastic one with a cover for starters we think)

Olivia is getting more sturdy and steady on her feet. We bought this exercise bar with mirror as a birthday gift for Olivia. It was money well spent!  Now a days, Olivia spends much time standing, dancing and hopping in front of the mirror.  She is shifting her weight now, and bending her knees. She is not yet moving from side to side to do any cruising.  But we are encouraged that she is doing so much better with weight on her legs.  A year ago, we could not get her to accept any weight at all on her legs. This has been Olivia's biggest challenge.  Hypotonia or low muscle tone can really slow down reaching those major milestones.  I hope she will be walking by 2 years old. But I think that 2 1/2 is more realistic.    In my most hopeful scenario, she is walking by July 4. But she will walk when she walks, and that is fine with me!  It has to be!

Olivia thinks standing in front of a mirror is great fun!

And I think she really has grown fond of the cute little girl in the mirror who always smiles back at her and also has a great sense of humor!

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