I don't even know where to begin. This girl and her progress...amazing!
I would call Ruby an official walker now. She takes more than 10 steps at a time and chooses to walk way more than crawl as a means for transportation. Last week Ruby was still walking, but it was no more than 6-8 steps and she still 'crashed' a lot. Not a full on walk till she ran out of steam, but there was no regrouping if/when she lost her balance.
This week has found her taking slightly smaller steps and often slowing to a stop to regain her composure before continuing to her destination. Sometimes she still only gets 4-6 steps, but other times she makes it across the room. We've been working with holding objects while she walks, to improve her core strength and overall stability. Black bean cans, tennis balls, small buckets and weighted 'soft' balls are all in her tool belt.
While we don't have any official sessions of this, Ruby's therapist is incorporating it more and more, and I've been working on some things with her as well. The last two weeks we've been working on stacking objects (boxes and cans), putting objects on top of the couch, and clothes pins. That last one has been the most fun for Ruby: she loves to pull the clothes pins off of her shoes or shirt.
I've been working mostly on feeding skills, trying to get her to self-load the fork. One of those control strategies is using toothpicks to eat from. I load up a few with cheese or apple or meat and she picks them up and eats from the end. Obviously she has to bring it to her mouth correctly (which she already does very well with a fork), but she also has to use her fingers intentionally to pick up the end of the toothpick. I let her color a few times each week too, to work on that grip strength.
Ruby has a new speech therapist. While our first one (through Babies Can't Wait) focused mostly on oral motor strengthening for eating and speech prep, this new one is more speech/sounds oriented. So far, so good. She is amazing at getting Ruby to S.L.O.W. down and listen. I try to replicate on my own, but I am not as proficient. Ruby has added more signs: music, bird (just like duck), night-night. And she does some hand motions with our songs that we sing: Itsy Bitsy Spider, Pat-a-Cake, and Row Your Boat. She is also getting better about giving me the 'B' sound. She now nods 'yes' (she brings her head back but doesn't get the nod part as well yet), and when I ask her what the cow says (or if she sees one in a book), she says "bmbmbooooo". As happy as I am about that one (her first animal sound), I'm confused because "mmm" has been her best (and often only) consonant for so long. You'd think she'd make the 'moo' sound more pronounced.