Last Feeding Clinic!

Today Asa has been discharged from the feeding clinic! I am thrilled as it means Asa is eating ‘normally’ and the speech and language therapist and dietician have no concerns over his eating or dietary management. Considering his gross motor development stage is around 4-5 months (due primarily to him not being able to sit up unaided), he is able to eat baby food that is age appropriate – so he is currently 10 months old and he is eating baby jars for a 10 month old. The dietician said she would not have expected this and said Asa is doing very well. There are still some challenges with Asa’s feeding, such as him tolerating larger lumps and occasional gagging and almost choking, which I hope will improve with time. We have a few recommendations for Asa to be going on with:

–          Doidy cup for drinking (an open slanted cup)

–          Lateral placement (i.e. Directing the spoon to alternative sides of Asa’s mouth (so that he learns to chew properly)

–          Continue to offer a range of textures and tastes

–          Offer ‘bite and disolve’ finger food, such as Organix goodies ‘toddler crisps’

–          And finally, my least favourite: messy food play. Eww, gross! (I promise to share a few photos, one day! Please hold me to it!!)

 

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A good friend will often encourage you at times when it might be most needed. Or even just write you a random note for no reason. This evening, I found this post-it note on one of my kitchen units. Thank you Coral, for your encouragement and friendship! :-)

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Baby Babble At Last!

TODAY, ASA STARTED BABBLING!!!

Unexpected.

Out of the blue.

Emotional.

Over the moon.

I didn’t realise how much I had been longing to hear those first few proper sounds come out of his small mouth. We were at the Harvester for Emelia’s birthday meal, and Asa just started babbling! He made a range of sounds, including ‘b(uh)’, ‘d(uh)’, da’ and even ‘m(uh)’, repeating them often.

I cried. I squealed with delight. I know this may seem a strange reaction for you, the readers of this blog. But as his mummy, I was so happy. I regularly pray for Asa’s speech development and was starting to worry that no sounds had been made, other than the favourite ‘raspberry’ and a long ‘ahhhhhhhh’ shout kind-of noise! I have often wondered with a tinge of sadness if / how his hearing loss might impact upon his speech and language development…

Today feels like a huge leap forward. I am looking forward with eager anticipation to Asa’s speech properly developing. I long to hear him say, “Hi mummy”, or “Goodnight daddy”. In fact, I am looking forward to this just as much as I did when Emelia was little. I am not naive to think his speech development will be plain sailing – children with Down’s syndrome often have delayed language skills and require speech therapy (hence the use of Makaton signs) – but today has given me hope that we are on the right track, however long it may take. I know he will get there. In his time. In God’s time.

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For our Christian friends and family… some prayer points if you’d like to pray:

– Praise God for Asa’s latest development and pray he’d continue babbling regularly!

– For Asa’s future speech development, that he would have speech that is clear so he would be understood by those he is in contact with as he grows up.

– For his hearing to improve (next hearing test is April 25th), so that it would not be a barrier to effective communication.

– For Jon and I to continue to be motivated to work on all the necessary exercises needed for Asa’s development, e.g. speech sound cards, physio exercises, facial exercises, sitting up, rolling, and Makaton signing.

THANK YOU! :-)

Treasure Baskets and Chicken Pox

Oh dear, our poor little boy has chicken pox. Emelia had it at the end of January, quite mildly really, so we expected Asa to get it the same time. However, two weeks later, here they are. Our health visitor warned us that Asa would likely have it worse than Emelia as he has been in direct contact with the virus… great. And she was right! The first spots appeared on the 6th February, and every day more bright red, sore looking spots have crept over his little body. Thankfully he isn’t trying to scratch the spots.

Aww my poor little boy…

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Asa asleep in my arms after a very grizzly, milk-refusing kind-of-morning!

20130207_151912Our little man had the pox much worse than Emelia. I’m glad he’s had it now as hopefully he won’t have it again. He’s too young to be trying to scratch the spots so we’re hoping there will be no scarring. Emelia hasn’t scarred either, phew!!

Again, I find myself unable to be in public spaces with the children. We are in quarantine in the house!!! Today is Sunday, and Asa and I are at home. We are sad to be missing church, but at the same time, it is rather nice to have Asa all to myself! …And it’s been so quiet!

This morning, after breakfast, and Jon and Emelia had left, I read Asa a story. It felt a bit strange not having Emelia clambering to join us! We also had chance to get out the ‘treasure basket’ as shown to us in the ‘Speak and Learn’ DS group. Treasure basket is a basket filled of natural materials. In ours, we have a bowl of uncooked pasta, wooden nail brush, a small pebble, baby brush, child’s wooden spoon, feathers (children’s artistic ones, not germ ridden bird feathers!) and a battery operated fan (I know this is not ‘natural’ but what we want is the air!)… The aim of the treasure basket is to introduce Asa to various textures. Some children with learning disabilities have sensory processing disorders whereby they don’t like certain textures. This can be items in contact with their skin such as certain clothing, food texture (something that I recently discovered affects me mildly), wind on faces etc. Not all babies with DS will have sensory issues. Some will, and this is where the treasure basket comes in to play.

What do we do with the treasure basket?

- Put Asa’s hands and feet in the bowl of pasta. This is his favourite treasure activity.
– Rub Asa’s hands, feet, legs, body with nail brush (funnily enough, he’s isn’t a fan! …But nor would I be!)
– Fan Asa’s body all over.
– Asa to experience weight, e.g. holding the pebble in contrast to the feather.
– Let Asa hold different items to feel them. The wooden spoon, even though is a child’s one, is still too big and he knocked himself in the head. No Asa, that wasn’t what was supposed to happen!

P1090864Asa deciding what to explore next!

So, while we have missed being with our church family this morning, we have had some lovely rare mummy and baby alone time. I love Emelia with all my heart, but it is great to be able to have a couple of hours to focus on the therapy and structured play activities that Asa needs to help his development.

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