Thursday, September 22, 2011

Development is a Miracle

I know I mentioned this a bit in the post about Emmett learning to crawl, but Emmett is just trucking along in the development arena. I can brag about it because, after the perspective of having Dean, I now know that I have pretty much nothing to do with it.

Without being taught, in repetition, in twice-daily therapy, Emmett has learned how to babble, crawl, *almost* pull to stand, and master a pincer grasp in a matter of less than two weeks. In a lot of ways, I'm relieved to know that neither he nor we have to work tirelessly at mastering these skills.

An emotion I did anticipate as well is sadness. Maybe even a bit of anger? It feels weird and mean to say that, but it's not directed at Emmett. It brings me back to those first few days in the NICU, realizing that my sweet, weak baby was going to face so much and that it was always going to be this way. It wouldn't just suddenly go away or even fade as he grows. I hate that it has been so hard for Dean, and I know that his development will continue to be more challenging than that of a typical kiddo. Sigh.

In other news, we had a speech evaluation yesterday for Dean for Early Intervention. Why they never did one in the first place was a little beyond me, because I thought they had. Anyway, we really liked the woman who showed up and she had some great input about what to work on with Dean. She agreed with us that there are some concerns about how low tone affects Dean's lips, mouth, and tongue and thought speech would be good for that (ummm, yeah). So we're going to start speech therapy every other week and then Dean's educator, who also works on speech, will come on the off-weeks. We're still pursuing speech therapy at Children's Hospital here in Richmond, but the first opening is in December. Blah.

This weekend, we are heading to Williamsburg for the One SMALL Step for PWS walk!! Very exciting. If I don't get a chance to post tomorrow, I'll most definitely be back on Sunday with lots of stories and pictures, I assume. :)


Kim said...

Hi Ali! You might already know about this but you should ask if your speech therapist is trained in PROMPT or if anyone around is. It's a technique where the SLP gives certain signals by touching the lips, face, jaw, etc in a specific way to elicit certain sounds. It's great for any child with low tone and/or motor planning issues. I'm not sure if it's something that has been used on many children with PWS but it's used for many with CP or even "typical" children who have speech/language delays. It's worth a shot. Just a little suggestion from an SLP (and one who's little one is also in speech therapy!)

Ali Foley Shenk said...

I have heard of PROMPT, but forgot about it, so thank you for the reminder! I know the SLP Dean is going to be working with is really big on getting in his mouth. :) So I'll ask about that! Thank you!