The boys had an outpatient therapy appointment today!
Here are some updates:
First and foremost they exercised their lungs. :-)
Neck/Core/etc: I’ll start here by showing you the new gadget. http://www.medline.com/jump/product/x/Z05-PF30708
Now that you have that visual…I will be able to use this awesome tool to help with tummy time, side play, “sitting”, and various other positions! Something as simple as playing on their side is difficult when they can’t hold themselves in position, or in Nolan’s case, he arches and twists until he gets on his back with his head to the right – AKA his “comfort zone”. This will help us position them firmly, but safely. PLUS! I’ll be able to do it hands free! I’m very excited about this. Instead of putting all of my effort in to holding them in a position, I can let this do the work, and I can work on visual and auditory stimulation, or even sensory exposure! Imagine them in the sitting position…playing and rubbing in shaving cream! Or on their side, but with me helping them get their hands on toys, and pushing buttons to create noise. I see this as a great way to improve the “fun” part of their play time.
Necks: I believe she could also see a slight improvement in the boy’s willingness to look left. But there is still a LOT of room for improvement here. Especially with Nolan. Some subtle clues you may have noticed in photos, and others you may have not: his right ear sticks nearly straight out from always getting folded over when he rolls his head right. His head is misshaping a bit, especially in the back right. And his bald spot (normal enough) is one-sided. All clues to his strong right side preference. The above positioner will also help me get and KEEP him on his left side for a while, as well as get him in to tummy time and a sitting position for longer spurts…all helping get him off the back of his head.
Sensory input: We’re continuing with the brushing and joint compressions. The boys don’t like it. They are particularly defensive about their hands being brushed. I’ve been doing it on bare arms and legs, but I might try to do it through clothing ½ the time for now, so they can feel it both ways, and hopefully slowly become more receptive to it. (Reminder – the very soft brush does NOT actually hurt…they are just tactile over-sensitive.)
Vestibular/ Spacial Orientation: My favorite new homework is…indoor swinging! We are going to use a sheet for now, and perhaps a more stretchy fabric if I find myself at Joanne’s Fabrics soon. But the idea is to get them more aware of a moving environment. They are far more stationary than a typically developing baby. As such, their vestibular awareness is lagging behind. (Vestibular is the leading system that contributes to movement and a sense of balance). I am also trying to keep them with me more often. Walking around the house, rocking, bouncing are also good ways to help in this area. I want to do more baby wearing. But the times that has seemed convenient have been few and far between. Here’s a link I found useful in summing up a lot of what we talked about today. http://www.developmental-delay.com/page.cfm/287 Honestly, Vestibular was a new word to me. Or at least one I had quickly forgotten from early biology/health classes.
While it feels like our list of goals and needs is ever-growing, it feels good to have a list of tools that is ever-growing as well. And I am particularly thankful that I am seeing a way to make more of this “fun” for them too!