It’s been a busy week for Piper as far as therapy goes!
I was really excited to have our appointment yesterday. After a three month wait, we got to see Patricia Winders, who’s based out of Children’s here in town. If anyone is relatively near here, I’d highly recommend seeing her (of course, if anyone comes out this way, you’ll have to let us know!!!)! She’s specialized in kids with Ds since 1981, and she was wonderful. I really, really liked her!
Because it was a holiday week, traffic down to Children’s wasn’t nearly as bad as I had anticipated, so we were there fairly early. So, what better time to do a photo shoot? (shock, I know…)
We got into the room, and Pat asked us some questions about what Piper is and isn’t doing. Our only real concern at this point is that she’s still not moving into sit from lying down (although she’s getting a lot closer…). She has several skills that are supposed to be after that, and all the skills before that, but not that. I put Piper down on the mat/table, hoping that she’d cooperate and do what she usually does.
The first thing she did was pivot in a circle several times checking out the room to see what there was for her to do. All Pat said “Wow”. Then she did her modified army-crawl-with-foot-kick to get to the toys, which she then figured out how to make “go”. Pat sat Piper next to a short surface to see what she did. Without even blinking, Piper rotated her trunk, and moved from sitting to kneeling to play with the toy on the surface. I kind of smiled in my head, knowing that’s what she was supposed to be doing. Then, without much thought, Piper moved to standing, which kind of surprised Pat. That was funny.
All-in-all, Pat said that Piper’s doing really well. She really emphasizes that her purpose isn’t to help kids achieve milestones quicker, but to make sure that they achieve milestones correctly. I kind of assumed that there were probably a few areas where Piper isn’t doing things exactly right, and I was curious what those were going to be. But she had no worries, at all. In fact, she was kind of surprised that we hadn’t had to train Piper to sit and stand in the correct posture. She was all for letting Piper walk with her walker as much as she’d like. She admitted that her philosophies change with new information as it becomes available, and this is one area where there is a lot of debate. She said that, from her experience, if we can get Piper’s endurance up now, once she has the balance part down, she’ll be able to take off walking, whereas if you don’t practice walking until they’re able to do it independently, effective walking is held off until endurance can be built. And since Piper takes the steps by herself, and we’re not moving her legs for her, she’s totally ready to start. This is really exciting to me!
The only real suggestion she had for Piper was to make her get into sitting by herself, every. time. So, we no longer set her on the ground in sitting. She’s getting put down on her tummy, and then she has to push up to sit. The theory is that she’ll pick it up in just a couple weeks. She also wants to see Piper learn to climb the flight of stairs by herself (although it’s added in the goal that she can have some assistance for the… “height deficiency”…), cruise at surfaces about 12” high, and play at kneel at a 9” high surface. I was really glad to get those heights, because it’s kind of hard for me to figure out what, exactly, I’m looking for at the store.
She said that she didn’t think we needed any scheduled follow-ups with her, but that we can go back to see her any time we want/need. Except that she told us to let her know when Piper starts walking, because she “wants to see that!”. We ended our hour-and-a-half meeting with her showing me where Piper is on her scale, which was truly awesome to see.
It was really nice to see someone who sees lots of kids with Ds and get their feelings for how Piper’s doing. It’s kind of reassuring to know that our feelings aren’t unjustified. We, of course, think that Piper’s a rock star, but we would no matter her abilities. And, ultimately, it doesn’t matter what she’s doing, but it is nice to know that we’re not doing any long-term harm by how she’s doing it. It was a really fun morning!
The timing for that appointment worked out well, because today we had our IFSP meeting to set goals for the next 6 months and reassess services.
Piper has hit all of her goals from December plus some! We’re keeping her OT and PT the same (OT weekly, PT once a month), but adding Speech (up to) once a month. We’ll decide exactly how often once the ST comes out in the next few weeks.
By December, we’re hoping that Piper will be:
- Using utensils to eat
- Drinking from an open cup
- Have at least 25 signs and spoken words
…and my personal favorite:
- TAKING A FEW INDEPENDENT STEPS!!!
We are uber proud of our little girl. She works really hard, and doesn’t seem phased by it at all. NOT that it makes us love her any more! She is our little star, and always will be! No matter what!