Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Today Cruz had occupational therapy and speech therapy and he did very well with both! Bless his heart... he is nowhere near being able to make the appropriate sounds at the appropriate time by any means but he is trying to make sound. We have to repeatedly tell him to 'turn his voice on' and we cheer when any sound comes out of his mouth. His therapist is definitely seeing his compliancy as progress. He seems to be more relaxed and more open to trying. But, we realize that we still have a very long road ahead of us. I was shocked when Jason and I worked in the nursery at church this past Sunday morning. We were in a class of 18 month olds. I was reading a book and all of the kids could say most of the words like "kitty cat", "meow", "choo choo train", etc. I was shocked! I thought, wow, these kids must all be geniuses! When I tell cruz to bump his lips and say 'ba' he can't even touch his lips together on command. But he is trying. We are increasing his sensory diet and stimulation. Now every two hours I use a brush to brush over his arms, back, legs, hands, and feet, followed by ten joint compressions on each joint. His sensory problems are just so severe, especially his oral motor difficulties. We are all amazed that he doesn't chew his food or push food to the side of his cheeks like a normal person. He keeps his food on the tongue and mashes it into the roof of his mouth. If it is too difficult he will gag, or spit it out. But its amazing to watch him eat chex mix, dry cereal, chips, etc, that way! He grazes all day long. In fact it is only 1030 and he has already had 2 protein shakes, a bowl of cereal, cheddar crackers, 2 frozen Go Gurts, and chef boyardee spaghetti and meatballs. The therapists and I are thinking that with such decreased sensitivity and body awareness he may not be able to feel when he is full. Plus he likes to go from the cold frozen Go Gurt to the hot spaghetti and back to the frozen food again. So in the meantime I am going to rethink some food options for him and continue to work on stimulating his facial muscles and mouth. We will still continue sign language as our main form of communication and insist that a sound come out of his mouth before he receives a toy/snack/etc. To add to all of this, everything is decreased on his left side so we will encouraging the use of his left arm and hand as much as possible when putting toys away, doing puzzles, etc. Oh, and heads up daddy they suggested trying to finger paint with pudding to work on his tactile defensiveness and to increase his desire to draw (which he has none now)... so if you come home to a disaster, I blame it all on therapy!!