Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Therapy Update

Here's Ruby's latest and greatest!

In the area of speech, Ruby has improved her technique for chewing things. This is not something I would even come close to noticing without the speech therapist/oral motor specialist's help, but I'm able to notice small things like that now, as many of us that go through therapy with our kids do. This likely means she's strengthening all of the right parts of her mouth (which is necessary for speaking!). Ruby is also trying to imitate my mouth movements for sounds. When I make sounds and ask her to do the same, she is now studying my lips and mouth even more and moving her lips around. The other day she even got her tongue involved when I demonstrated "L" for her. Finally,  lollipops have made their way into our therapy. I am sure they'll be back later too. For now, every few days I take a Dum-Dum and move it around on the inside of her cheeks to try and elicit her tongue's searching out the cheeks for flavor. I also hold it out in front of her mouth and try to get her to stick her tongue out to lick it.
In Physical Therapy, Ruby is still walking with her new braces and gait trainer. The new tennis shoes I got her to seem to be slowing her down. They are a bit 'tall' and it's hard for her to lift her foot high enough to not drag it. Because of that I use the older 'short' shoes often enough to keep her interested in walking. She is also standing to play a lot more; she will let go of the fridge or couch to play with two hands sometimes too.

We do not have an Occupational Therapist, but we see one at Gigi's sometimes. I have been working for a long time with Ruby on her pincer and putting objects into containers. In the last month Ruby has started to put spiky balls or other small objects into an oatmeal container or bowl for me.
I invested in a few OT type containers and we've used them a lot. One is cylinders into round holes, one is foam 3-D shapes into shaped holes, and one is buttons into a slot.
Ruby can do all of them, to varying degrees! She just figured out the coin slot, which means buttons are fair game too. This should help her pincer, as I'm training her thumb to grab from the opposite side as her other fingers when holding small flat objects.
My favorite (and Ruby's) is the ball bottle.  I took a Gatorade bottle and put a dozen or so bouncy balls in there. Shaking them out is a little difficult sometimes, but the opening is just big enough to put the balls in, so it requires a deal of precision and dexterity. Ruby is a pro at it and she loves it!

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