I’ve decided that a really great way to structure these posts for those who are trying to keep up with Emily is to put up a weekly challenges and victories post. It will be great for me too as I will be able to go back and really see our progress in black and white. Progress if often hard to see when you are crawling along at this snails pace. I want to end on the victories, of course! End the posts on an upbeat.
This week’s challenges have been first and foremost, Emily’s head control! I am going to keep this one here until that glorious day when, in one week’s post, its not here anymore! At this point Emily is quite good and keeping her head from falling backward, I really don’t worry about that. Makes sense, since that was the first thing to come in the head control area. She is able to look to her left very well and hold it up. She was not able to look right as well but that is definitely starting too get better as well. Looking straight is OK. She holds for a bit and then the head drops unless she is actively looking at something eye level or above. She can hold it up in a sitting position which I remember way back, was very hard when we first started wearing the DMO.
We are also still seeing a lot of toe pointing which we have been told, is not good for her heel cords as they will shorten over time.
Low core tone and low hand tone are still major issues. We are still waiting on her DMO gloves which is frustrating as these should help her hand tone and ability to hold heavier things, pull her thumb out more and just get a stronger arm in general.
Major victory this week – repeating sounds back to us! She has been a babbler since 5 months old but in speech therapy we were looking to get Emily to observe me making a sound and then repeat it back. She would do a back and forth “conversation” if she was the initiator but not if I chose the sound to start. She would look at my mouth and move her lips but no sound would come out. Our ST talked about how many steps are involved there, making the right lip movements, blowing the air and vocalizing the sound. Last week I got her saying “ohh” back to me! We practiced that for a few days and then I tried making it more complex. Last night I got a “oh ba ba oh”! Huge step toward language because we know she understands our words since she can follow directions (ex. “turn the page”). So with good receptive language and now the ability to repeat back sounds we want her too on cue, we are really getting close to expressive language.
Another one this week was a very strong effort at rolling over on her rocker board. She is making good progress on the amount of force she uses to roll from back to tummy when she gets that little bit of rocking first in the rocker board.
This one was a few weeks ago, but she was able to pick up a toy off her tray with both fists in her midline all by herself for the first time. Working with both hands in the middle is a huge challenge for her. With the left arm working so much better these days it is happening more.
Hope everyone had a nice week and next Friday I will have the next round of updates!