We have gone through periods of time where Colin hasn't wanted to do certain things, or he wasn't feeling well, or he wouldn't sit still, etc. and it was frustrating, but for the most part, Colin works really hard and does what is asked of him. Through time, we have only increased the therapies that Colin receives as well as have had new therapists come into our home. We had one therapist who didn't work well with Colin and finally made a decision to switch. Today, Colin receives physical therapy two hours a week, speech therapy two hours a week, occupational therapy one hour a week, and developmental intervention (teacher) one hour a week for a grand total of six hours per week. When we were adding DI back, we were a bit concerned about too much and it was important for this new therapist to keep it fun and light, but also, focus on the goals set forth for him (completing tasks, follow directions, and emphasizing pretend play). We are lucky to have a great team who found another great therapist to work with Colin. Her name is Amber and we already love Amber. Her and Colin have already clicked.
Our team of therapists, Kathy, Regina, Amy, Amber and to always help us out when needed, Darlene along with Nancy our case manager have always done whats best for Colin. They have always listened to our needs, our concerns and have even lent a listening ear for us as well. These people have become our friends and we are truly thankful for all that they do for Colin.
With each of them, Colin has a relationship and a repore. He is starting to test his limits with some of them just like he does with Mommy and Daddy, but the good thing about relationships is that you can test the limits and bounce right back.
Miss Regina focuses a lot on fine motor skills with Colin and does a lot of hand over hand activities. She is always trying new things and keeping things fun so that Colin stays interested. Last week she encorporated water play with Colin with activities like squeezing.
Amy was Colin's love when she came in. These days, he definitely tests his limits with her, but as long as she pushes through, he still does what she asks. They have a routine during each session and this routine has been really successful for Colin in enunciating certain sounds. His communication skills are soaring right now and since Amy started with us, we have seen immense progress in this area.
One thing I like that Amy does is incorporates a sound with a tactile cue. For example, in the following picture, Amy has Colin touch his nose to make the "nnnn" sound. She has really gotten a lot of progress just by using these different cues.
This picture reminds me of something that happened today. Sitting at the table is a relatively new thing during speech therapy because Colin always used to be content just sitting on Amy's lap in front of the mirror for the entire session. However, Colin has become really antsy and so we graduated to the table and chairs which has worked to keep Colin in place with his attention focused. Occassionally, Colin becomes tired and will cross his arms the way he has them in this next picture and will then rest his head on his arms. During therapy today, he took it one step further. She was asking him to make a certain sound one more time (a common phrase used these days during therapy) and I guess he didn't feel like it because he put his hands on his head and said what sounded like "ugh" and then put his head down on his arms. It was hysterical.
Miss Kathy, the PT is always challenging Colin and is able to push him further than others can, but also by making it fun for him.
She is the therapist who has now been with him the longest and they have a really great relationship. She wants Colin to walk as much as any of us and is working really hard to make that happen.
We are really proud of the fact that because of Kathy's help, Colin has moved along his physical development very smoothly. Yes, things have taken longer than we would have expected, however, when he accomplishes a skill, he does them very nicely and the "right" way. Kathy has always emphasized that kids, especially with Down Syndrome, tend to accomplish gross motor development from the top down because that is where the progression of strength goes. When he was learning to sit, his posture was excellent. He learned to crawl and THEN started to stand up to take steps.
We are very grateful for all that Kathy has done for us. Since Amber just started with us, I don't have any pictures yet, but I look forward to future sessions with her since her and Colin have already established a relationship (how could he not? she is another pretty girl and you know how Colin feels about pretty girls!).