Cara started speech therapy through Developmental Pathways on Tuesday. While this was basically a "getting know you" chat with her therapist, Angela, I really got a good vibe from her. She seems to care about the whole picture, not just Cara's progress with her oral expression. There seems to be a well-rounded therapy approach, which I really think is beneficial, not only to us, but to the Developmental Pathways team too. The focus of her speech therapy, right now, is to get Cara "talking" more, especially in copying or mimicking sounds. I already do a lot of the things that were discussed, so it seems that we are going in the right direction. I read to Cara daily, talk about what I'm doing (brushing her hair, playing with her, etc) and encourage her to "talk" to me. We are learning animal sounds and common baby words. Also, her therapist wants to introduce some baby sign language into Cara's vocabulary to bridge the gap between her babble and talking. I'm excited, as I've always wanted to learn ASL. In case anyone is curious, I found great website for teaching parents some simple, every day signs. There are also some board books by Linda Acredolo which I am hoping to find at the library. It will be so nice, if Cara picks up on the signs, to know what she is saying, thinking, wanting. Hopefully, it will ease the frustration for both of us.
Her therapist is going to teach me 4 new signs every time we meet on top of whatever I happen to learn in between. I am also hoping to sign up for, and attend, some free sign language classes. I'm actually looking forward to not only learning to communicate with Cara, but to have something mind-simulating to do.
We will be meeting with Angela, in our home, bi-weekly for speech therapy and I'm looking forward to seeing Cara improve.
Cara continues to do well with her PT. We are working on getting her to stand for longer periods of time without locking her knees, getting her to shift her weight from one leg to another and begin to transition into side-stepping. I am happy to report that she stood, playing with her favorite toy, for about 15 minutes and did not lock her knees! In fact, she was kind of bouncing on her feet at times! Such of a big accomplishment for her. She also managed to side-cross step from one table to the other while reaching for a toy. It is so rewarding to see her making progress!
We have her second occupational therapy session scheduled for next week. Our goal in this department is to have Cara using her pincher grasp as well as getting her used to having her palm open. She still does a fist grab for objects and tends to ball up her palms when doing her commando crawl. She is getting better about opening them (as she is on all fours more and such) but still needs some help. We are also working on getting her to use her pointer finger to push buttons and such. She is loving the hand massages that I give her and playing with the Sesame Street pop-up toy that we inherited. "Therapy" is such fun for us!
Turning to something not therapy related...Cara will be going into to see her pediatrician on Monday to investigate why she always seems to be so stuffed up and full of snot all the time. She snorts, sneezes and coughs more than we think is normal. An allergy panel might be coming Cara's way. We will have to wait and see what trusty Dr. Quinn has to say. He hasn't steered us wrong yet. Keep watching for updates.