Therapy: Where We Are At Now

(Random, not part of this post update: Barry has been offered a job! He is stay at home dad no longer! Thank you to everyone who prayer with us through this time 🙂 10 months is a long time to wait for a position but we believe this is the perfect one!)

Ok, so I figured I would do a therapy update for those of you who are following along. 🙂 We just had a visit at the DS Clinic in Houston, which always makes me freak out because you have all these therapists that come in and evaluate Eli’s progress…I hate being evaluated. lol They are so wonderful there, but they won’t really count what I say Eli is doing, they are more interested in what they see. We were lucky to have a former OT who’s worked with Eli working at the clinic. So she knew what Eli had been doing (Hi T!!!)
Anyway, because no 2 year old will perform on command, Eli’s developmentally not showing where I think he actually is. I’m ok with this because we know how awesome he is and what he is doing already 🙂
We are so blessed to have an amazing team for Eli. They push and challenge him (and us!) in some amazing ways. 🙂 We love them!
Eli is 22 months old and this is what we are doing right now:

Standing Practice: We are working on building Eli’s strength to stand. He stands with his back against the wall, while Barry reads to him, he stands to watch his iPad which is proped up on the couch, he stands to reach for snacks or drinks, he stands to grab the desired toy off the table…etc. Just to build strength and encourage standing. It’s been a great way to encourage him plus he gets a work out. In PT we have been working on going from sitting to standing. He can do it, but he’s stubborn like usual. He will sit on Barry’s knee, and then have to push to stand to reach something. Out of complete frustration he will suddenly push up and stand just because he is angry. lol He’s done it several times without assistance but it’s hard for his little legs (I blame his father, who is the genetic carrier of “chicken leg”).
We also added his AFO’s. He’s been primarily using his SMO’s for stability, but now that he is trying to stand in the middle of the room, he is ready to use them. But…He HATES them. Like cries and cries when they are on hates them. He will get used to having them on and already, it has improved his walking and he’s getting more brave about standing independently. So proud of him! He’s getting so so close!! We are excited for him!

OT: In OT we have been doing a lot with fine motor. Picking things up, working in his mouth, touching new textures, matching shapes, following directions. I don’t have a video on this but he’s doing really well here!

SLP: You guys saw his last video spam, which included all the signs he is working with right now. This has been huge! He’s exploded with signs and we couldn’t be more thrilled. It’s so much easier to communicate with him and he is so proud of himself. We literally went from only signing one sign (ball), to over 35 signs! It feels like he added a new one every day for a while. We are also doing a lot of reading and mouth work. When we read, we hold the book close to our mouth so he can see the words we are saying. We also point at all the words as we read, or make sounds as they are appropriate. It’s been fun!
We let Eli watch Baby Signing Time once a day and he loves it. It’s one of his favorite things to do and the only show he will sit still to watch. He has started to sign with Rachel and even has favorite songs. 🙂
Signing has been huge for us, but we are doing other things too.
I just started PECs. I have a few things in the house that I need to put labels on, and I just printed all the kinder sight words on note cards.
We’ve introduced flash cards too. We got some at Christmas that are touch and feel with the word so Eli loves them.
We have really enjoyed ABC flashcards on our iPad too. Eli anticipates certain letters and gets excited when he sees his favorite symbols (like bird for b). Hehe it’s so cute.
We are doing mouth work too, which has helped greatly with brushing his teeth.

Now if all of this could translate to verbal talking! One thing at a time…I know it will come 🙂

Behavior: Eli’s understanding of language and directions is very strong. His desire to listen, not so much. I guess this is the “terrible two’s”, huh? He has started hitting with purpose when he is mad. He will look me right in the face, I mean straight in my eyes and hit me! When I tell him we don’t hit, or to use gentle hands his typical response is to laugh or hit me again.
I’m not sure if he understand time out yet…so we haven’t really enforced that. Plus I don’t really have a place to put him that won’t be automatically associated with being bad all the time, even though it’s not supposed to be a bad place lol
I’ve tried a tap on the hand and he doesn’t seem to get that either.
He even hits himself.
We’ve been working on “gentle hands” since before Ruby was born, but he’s decided he would rather slap Ruby on the forehead than listen to “gentle hands”…
We ignore the behavior when he hits himself or throws a tantrum. Often we just walk away and he will fix the behavior.
But the hitting with purpose doesn’t stop unless we redirect or remove him from the situation. Any suggestions on this one? I just asked on my FB but I thought I would ask here too lol
Otherwise, he’s a sweet, loving boy, just trying to express himself. It’s rough being two. 😉

Potty Training: No, we haven’t started yet. We aren’t crazy! He isn’t walking…so it doesn’t seem like there is a point right now. But we have discussed introducing it to him. I think we will get him the Baby Signing Time: Potty Time video set. He’s on his way, though. He wakes from most naps and in the morning pretty dry. He’s fussy when he fills his diaper up too, so these are all good signs. I will be totally honest, though, this part really scares me. lol I think if I were a SAHM it wouldn’t feel so overwhelming, but I just don’t have the time to dedicate to him with this right now. Thank goodness he isn’t ready. lol
Once he begins walking, we will look into our options. I’ve already seen the potty ramp, and we have 3 potty chairs or seat covers haha. Any one else have some good tips?
It’s so tempting to push it because the thought of 3 in diapers is enough to drive anyone over the edge, but I know he’s just not quite ready.
We need to add “potty” to his signs. lol

So I think that is the therapy update right now! Thanks to our awesome team and my amazing husband for working so hard with Eli! It shows! 🙂 What are you working on with your kids?


3 Replies to “Therapy: Where We Are At Now”

  1. Oh man, I can’t even imagine trying to potty train Daniel right now at age 2! Three in diapers won’t be as bad as you expect. (I may be biased- I really hate potty training. I’m happy to wait until Daniel is 3. Or older.)

    That’s great that he’s doing so well with his signs! Daniel’s been picking up a lot more lately, but not nearly that many. We’re going to a feeding and speech seminar this weekend put on by the Down syndrome guild here, I’m very interested in what they have to say!

    1. Oh! I would be interested too! Please share 😉

      Yeah, I think that if Eli were walking and I could stay home with him to train him, it would be fine, but that’s just not the case…so i guess I will wait 😉 I will let you know how 3 in diapers goes haha

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