Currently, my little Oliver receives two different kinds of therapies: Physical Therapy, to help his muscles learn to do things properly, and Occupational Therapy, to help his hands and brain coordinate putting together strings of fine motor skill accomplishments.
His PT is Joanne, a hippie-ish lady who enjoys Ollie’s company and is just as proud of him as we are with his latest accomplishment, whatever that might be. She has been working with Ollie once a week for about six months now.
Our Occupational Therapist is a Finnish woman who claims that Ollie “looks like a Viking” and has been working with him for just about a year now, at first every week, now down to every-other-week. She’s been talking of “graduating” Ollie from her services, seeing that, since he’s been sitting upright, his fine motor skills are even better than they were.
But, there’s talk (and action) of adding a couple more therapies into our repertoire.
Starting this Thursday, we are going swimming every week! This one is actually pretty exciting. Ollie loves loves loves being in water and the kid is a crazy kicker even when on dry-land that this water therapy should be awesome for him. Not only does it sound fun, but it also has some benefits that should help him get even more mobile (as I get bigger and less mobile!). We’re also going to work on his bi-lateral movements — using the left side then the right side — since he seems to have foregone the idea of crawling and chooses instead to butt-scoot around. From the sounds of it, it should help him get started on walking, which at 20 months actual, 17 months adjusted, he’s really not that far behind on, but if it helps him, it helps him, right?
Our other new therapy, this one being another every-other-week thing will be speech & eating. Luckily provided by the same therapist, she can work on both during her sessions.
He’s getting eating therapy since he still has the tendency to gag on things that he’s not used to. He isn’t tolerating any sort of table foods, and still needs a bottle a couple times a day, and we’re kinda at a standstill with sippy cup progress. I’m not complaining, though, three months ago, he would eat one container of baby food throughout the entire day. Now he’s doing three containers of pureed food two or three times a day.
So, yes, he is progressing, very well, actually.
But he has a hard time with texture. Could be from being on a ventilator at birth, or it could just be him, there’s really no way to pin that one down. So, we’ll be working with a professional on feeding him — and getting him to feed himself, which will be AWESOME, considering in just four months, there’ll be another mouth around the house that needs feeding.
But then there’s speech.
I hate when people ask if he’s talking, because he’s not.
He has words; he knows words, his receptive language is fine. He understands what we’re saying pretty well, and probably has a good 20 or 30 words that he knows. If you ask him where’s Mama, he’ll look at me. Same for Dada, cat, light, turtle. Ask him where his tongue is, he’ll stick his out, say “all done!” and he’ll do his own version of sign language. Actions like that indicate he knows what you’re saying, and I’m not really toooooo worried about it yet.
But, dang, the kid just hasn’t uttered a word yet!
And I’m waiting for him to wake up from a nap and be hollering for Mama!
In his defense, I do have to do a little bit of background here….
Apparently, the human tongue is much longer than we think. Sure we all know a tongue is in your mouth, but its actual anchor is supposedly much further down into your throat area than anyone would expect, and is somewhat controlled by the muscles that help you sit up independently, positions your shoulders properly, moves your head around…all sorts of things that Ollie was having difficulties with.
Because those muscles were underdeveloped, he didn’t babble very much for a very long time.
Until he started sitting independently and unsupported.
Now, much of the day is punctuated by good-good-goods and ba-ba-bas and deedle-deedle-deedles and a few ahahas and woooows.
It’s pretty awesome how much he’s “talking” lately.
Anyway, because he doesn’t have any words at all yet (that we know) we’ll be starting the speech part of speech & eating therapy.
So there’s our list of therapies that we’re getting. We’re still doing the chiropractor every other week, and we try to not double up his therapies on one day. Too much pushing will wear him out. So Mondays are for PT, Wednesdays are for OT/chiropractor, Thursdays are for pool therapy now, and well, we’re not exactly sure when speech will begin yet.
Sheesh, I’m wiped out just thinking about it. I wanted to look for a playgroup to join, or story time at the library, but right now it just seems a bit on the difficult side.
But, he needs the help, and I’m happy to get it to him.