Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
You can see Colin is really inspecting the ring!
One of Colin's classic favorite toys is the snow leopard from his Noah's ark toy. He is always happy to play with it!
Thursday, September 24, 2009
The next picture is Ole Miss' newest fan! While Chris was down there last year for the NCAA baseball tournament, he befriended some Ole Miss faithfuls who so kindly sent our family Ole Miss gear. Here is Colin before the Ole Miss football game tonight...
Aunt Kimmy picked Colin up from school today and they spent the afternoon together. They worked really hard this afternoon on Colin's exercises and from what I hear, he did really well! Lucky for me, Aunt Kimmy and Colin are coming to visit me at work tomorrow! I can't wait :)
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Colin had been assessed by Early Intervention initially when Colin was about 4 weeks old. Based on how well Colin was doing, our "team" made a recommendation for physical therapy 2 times a month and developmental therapy 2 times a month. Fortunately, we were able to alternate the 2 so that Colin was getting one type of therapy a week. Miss K (physical therapist) has felt that Colin's physical progress has been good and because of this, wants to move his sessions to once a week just to make sure he continues to stay on track (only a newer recommendation).
When Colin was about 2 months old, he was also evaluated by the ITAP program. It involved a speech and occupational therapist, a nurse, and the developmental pediatrician. Based on the therapists' 5 minute evaluation, they recommended Colin receive PT once a week. Other than that, it was just some explanations as to what Down Syndrome was, what it meant, and the recommendation that we should continue to follow up with the team.
I was initially nervous about the discrepancy not knowing what to do. However, Miss K felt that Colin was doing well and that we were doing everything we could on a daily basis, so it wasn't necessary to increase to once a week then. Also, Miss D was doing PT as part of her developmental therapy. As you've seen over the past few months, Chris and I, as well as friends and families, make sure they do Colin's exercises when they spend time with him. He is certainly not neglected in doing the things he needs to do.
So, yesterday Colin had his check-up with the ITAP program (every 3 months when they are under a year old) and I still have a bad taste in my mouth. We walked into the room and put Colin on the mat on his stomach because I knew they would want to see his head control. He did so well holding his head up high, looking around, reaching his arm out in front of him. The OT immediately picked him up, sat him up (which he did well with) and then tried to get him to support himself with his hands in front of him in a sitting position (which he is not able to do yet). She flipped him around a few times and was finished. Then, the speech therapist stuck her finger in Colin's mouth for 30 seconds and was finished.
The OT then sat back in her chair (after not saying anything to us) and then immediately asked me why we didn't follow their recommendation to have PT done once a week. I felt like we were being reprimanded and answered everything I just explained earlier in the post. After that, she scribbled some notes, asked if we had any questions, and dismissed us. I was steaming so Chris just asked why the speech therapist did what she did (since neither explained what they were doing).
The nurse asked us a few questions, plotted Colin's numbers, and based on the small amount of things Colin is not doing, told us that he falls on the minimal end of the scale for his age (mostly because he can't sit on his own, not really putting his feet down to bear weight when holding him, and because he's saying vowel sounds but not consonant sounds).
After all of this, the developmental pediatrician at least made us feel like we were doing something right. She told us that Colin looked great, we were doing a great job with him and reinforced that we should continue to do things we are doing with him.
I know that Colin can't do every single thing right now because some things are more difficult for him. I also know that Colin is doing more positive things than negative things and every single negative thing was emphasized with none of the positives being reinforced. Chris and I feel that Colin has come a long way way from when we first found out that he had Down Syndrome and from when he was first having some difficulties with head and neck control. I feel that he is doing new things every day and working on the things that he isn't doing as well.
I also know that the point of the program is keep track of his development and to try to work on the things that he can't do as well. However, considering the fact that we are #1 new parents and #2 new parents of a child with Down Syndrome, there could be some positive things said to us.
Phew, got that off my chest...
Rivals Give Last Touchdown to Player With Down Syndrome - ParentDish
Shared via AddThis
Sunday, September 20, 2009
We have so many different ways we want to show off Colin's new shirt, but for now, here is one of Colin's biggest accomplishments...the Bumbo seat. It's not something that Colin uses all of the time, but back when he was struggling with his neck control, he couldn't sit it in at all. Now, he can sit in it for short stretches of time, holding his head up like a big boy, looking around, and even playing with toys! In this picture he is waving hi! to all of you (especially the Sanchez family!)In the next picture, he is holding one of his shape blocks and putting in his mouth!
One of the new exercises Miss K recommended this week to strengthen Colin's trunk muscles is to sit him on an exercise ball with your hands near his waist and lightly roll him around so he has to use his trunk to hold himself up. It's a lot more difficult than it looks for the person holding Colin, but here he is "doing it" (just without the shirt on!).
We are just so proud of Colin!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
One of the questions I asked her was in regards to sitting. I know that he still has a little ways to go before he will be able to do that, but I also know that it's the next phase of development so I was curious about it. Colin is able to sit while supported by our hands and holds his head up so well now. She told us that it's still early because he doesn't have enough trunk musculature, but gave some exercises we could do to work on this. One of the exercises is to sit Colin in the edge of the couch, with our hands just above his waste, and rock him back and forth, side to side, diagonally, etc. She recommended an exercise ball for this exercise.
She also gave us exercises in regards to crawling. Since he is starting to extend his arms when on his tummy, he is getting into the precursors to crawling. Therefore, one of the exercises is to help Colin move the opposite leg to the arm he is extending when on his tummy as in combat crawling.
As always, Miss K is very thorough in her evaluation sheet and gives plenty of things for us to work on. She had mentioned at the last session that she wanted to try to get Colin moved to once a week to make sure that he stays on track. This week she said that we will have to wait until after Colin's 6 month appointment with our case manager. I was a little bit disappointed that we would have to wait since I've had it in my head now. The more the better right?
Colin's teachers at school have been great and have been doing a lot of Colin's exercises with him. Obviously they can't do every single one, but they work on what they can and make sure they are at least doing the basics (tummy time, supported sitting, etc.). He seems to really like it there so I know we made a good decision. We have back to school night on Tuesday! I am looking forward to it since I'm sure it's the first of MANY!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Chris said this morning that he did not feel warm, he was happy, and ate a hearty breakfast (he must have been hungry after yesterday!). He slept for a little over 2 hours in the morning at school and then a little under 2 hours in the afternoon, right up until Chris picked him up. His teachers said he was a very happy little boy and enjoyed painting with his toes today! He had hardly any congestion and was in bed asleep by 8:00 tonight.
So, in the end, just a teeny tiny cold with lots of discomfort for a little boy. Glad he's feeling better! It's miserable to watch your little baby not feel well and not be able to do anything for him!
Monday, September 14, 2009
...it breaks my heart just looking at it! I have never felt so helpless before!Because Colin had a fever today and the fact it was our first time dealing with a cold/possible teething issues, Chris brought him to the doctor (more to make ourselves feel better). He was just told that Colin had some congestion but no ear infection, thrush, etc. Oh, and by the way, with clothes on Colin weighed over 13 lbs.!
Here is Colin at the doctor's office on the table:
...so, he had moments where he did much better. He ate a pretty good dinner, got his pj's on, and fell asleep in his bouncy seat. We think we are just going to have him sleep in that (as per the doctor) to help keep his head clear and help drain the "stuff". Let's hope for a better night!
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Colin has been progressing so well the past few weeks! We are so happy because we know it means Colin is doing well at home and at school.
Here are a few of the things that Colin is now doing:
- Extending his arms on his tummy: We are beginning to notice that when Colin is on his tummy, he is starting to move his arms from the triangle support underneath him to straight-armed out in front of him. We have been very excited about this because we know this is the next progression but we have only touched upon it with Miss K in physical therapy. Here is a picture that give you the idea, but it's not quite accurate because he is leaning on a pillow here. He does this without the pillow on his tummy.
- Holding blocks and making sound: Colin is starting to understand the more we practice it that when he holds the blocks and bangs them together, they make noise. He loves making noises with the blocks and it's so cute to watch. Colin is able to look at them while he is holding them and is also starting to explore them with his mouth! Here is Colin playing with the blocks with Aunt Kimmy:
- Responds to his name! This is something that has been progressing slowly for awhile now, but Colin definitely knows his name.
We are so proud of Uncle Timmy for raising $685 to the Special Olympics! We are also thankful to Uncle pat who took the drive out to support him in his race! Here are a few more race pics:
Dear Uncle Timmy~
Thank you so much for participating in this race and for raising money in my honor. I love you very much!
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
It looks like Colin is having a GREAT time finger painting! It makes us so happy to see that Colin does so many different things at school and is "stimulated" in so many different ways.
For more information, you can access his link here: http://www.active.com/donate/TFYCSep122009/TWillia675
We are so proud of you Uncle Timmy! Good luck!
Monday, September 7, 2009
...stopped to smile for Daddy again......got ahold of the orange ring...
...picked it up...
...then decided he wanted the larger ring...
...and picked that one up too (although he's not happy in this one)!
Oh, and he's putting toys in his mouth more now too!
Saturday, September 5, 2009
I had been sitting on the ground playing with him, but was not assisting him formally. All of a sudden, Chris brought my attention to the fact that on his own, Colin reached and grabbed the ring! He even pulled it in towards him! This picture is not the original moment but the second time around.It's amazing, yet fun, to get excited over ALL of the milestones!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
I know it didn't come out very well in the picture, but you should see it in person! I have to say that my eyes welled up (yes, that happens often these days) because it was so cute that they helped him do it!
Also, hanging up above his crib at school, are Colin's footprints! They helped him dip his feet in paint and put his footprints on a piece of paper! I have to say that I'm very happy with Colin's school! He had a full slate of activities today and I'm so happy to see that he is doing all of it!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Colin had the BEST physical therapy session today that he has had yet. I was watching the video that Chris took of the session and I had tears in my eyes because I was so proud of Colin (and because I missed it!). I just sat there as my heart swelled with pride for my little boy. I can't even fully put into words right now how I felt as I just sat there and watched it.
I also have to say that I am so incredibly happy with both of Colin's therapists. They are both so incredibly caring and knowledgeable that I know my whole family are better because of them. Not only is Colin excelling, but Chris and I are learning valuable information at the same time.
It's also so amazing to me how the physical therapy visits build upon themselves. Obviously the therapists plan on what they are going to do, but because Colin changes so fast it's almost a natural progression (and following normal development progressions).
This is what Colin is already doing:
- Pull to sit - and holding his head while he does it
- Supported sitting
- Tummy time with great head extension
- Rolling from tummy to back
- When lying on his back, he can bring his arms to midline to grasp objects (and brings his legs up)
- Reach and grasp objects
This is how Miss K built upon those skills today:
- Pull to sit from side-lying and also making Colin grasp objects on his own first, or grasp her fingers before performing this exercise
- In supported sitting, she introduced holding objects in both hands and banging those objects together and on a container to make noise (which he loved doing!)
- On his tummy, she started assisting him to reach his arms out in front of him for an object by shifting his weight to one side
- Since he was already rolling, she introduced giving him some support to "kick off" her hand (and also because he is already bringing his knees up under him to push off of - He rolled about 5 times in a row VERY easily)
- Placing an object on his tummy to bring his arms to mid-line which has also been encouraging him to bring his legs up as well!
Not only did Colin build upon all of his previous skills, but he lasted the whole session without ONE complaint! Also, where his right arm was lagging a little bit when compared to his left he showed GREAT improvements with his ability to reach and grasp with his right arm! We are so proud of our little boy!
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Colin had his first day of school today!! Here is Colin with his bookbag out front of our house ready to go!I think a couple of things that made this difficult were:
- Who WANTS to leave their baby? I wish we were in the position for me to be able to stay home, but we're just not, so it's something we just accept and find the best way to deal with.
- The first time doing something is NEVER easy. It's a fear of the unknown (did we pick the right place, will Colin thrive, will he be happy, will he still continue progress as well as he has been?)
- We ALL survived! Chris and I shed a few tears, but when we stood outside of his classroom and looked in, Colin was as happy as could be on his tummy with some of the other babies. I ended up handling it better than I thought because Colin was ok.
- When I picked Colin up, he was STILL as happy as could be AND he was getting some one on one attention because he was the last one there in his classroom.
- When I got home with Colin, he was STILL as happy as could be...so that tells me he had a really good day and he was happy to be with his Mommy.
- He did some of his exercises throughout the day and got several women to fall in love with him (did we really expect anything less?).
I know we will continue to be ok and I think Colin will get these positive things out of school:
He will make friends and socialize!
- He will adapt to new people (his teachers).
- Modeling is always a good form of education and his class ranges in children aged 6 weeks to 12 months.
- The teachers always have a full day of activities including language (signed bottle today), sensory stimulation (played with cold ice cubes), art, self-help/life skills (practiced holding spoon), motor skills (play time on mat), music and movement (danced to kids bop 80s), and cognitive development.
Here's to another great day!