Thursday, May 14, 2015

Therapy Update

Ruby is going to yet another speech therapist (that makes three). This one focuses on the actual sound production of each letter/sound rather than words. She will also be helping me with some eating/feeding stuff. Ruby eats fine to those of us that don't know what to look for, but if you dig a little deeper, her chewing motions and her tongue thrust could use some improvement. Instead of chewing with her back teeth to break down her food, Ruby tends to squish and mash with her tongue and general mouth movement.

Tongue protrusion has always been one of my biggest stress-factors with Ruby. Recently we've been working with a few newer oral-motor tools to try and help with that. One is plastic flutes/whistles that helps strengthen her overall mouth. The one Ruby has really taken to is a red one; she can often be found around the house blowing the heck out of that thing. The other is a small plastic 'chip' that she puts in her mouth and it helps remind her to keep her lips together. I can honestly say it is helping!
Last week we had the evaluation with this new speech therapist which lasted two and a half hours. Ruby did great, considering, especially since she was strapped into a chair the entire time. One bonus for her was when the therapist pulled out a bright blue Dum Dum lollipop and did some things. When she was done, she let Ruby finish it....big time.

In general news, Ruby is still as vocal as always, but no words that others may recognize yet. Many word approximations and signs still incorporated in her communication. One area she is improving noticeably is when she needs something, she will tell me "Mama (verbal). Help (sign with random talking)." We've heard a "yesh" (yes), "goddit" (got it) and "hep" (help) in the last few weeks.

Physical Therapy:
Ruby is walking and fast walking everywhere, including up the driveway. She still keeps her hands in an 'on-guard' position, but will put them down when I remind her. She is also carrying things while walking....mostly small toys, books, soccer balls, and anything that doesn't weigh more than her.
Some of the exercises we are working on include hanging from a bar (to help her upper body development since she's not crawling anymore) and deep (DEEP) squats. That is something Ruby does pretty well actually; she will squat down and play often, standing back up without any help most of the time.

Occupational Therapy:
We don't meet with our PT specifically for this, but it gets worked in during some PT sessions. Also, there is an OT at Gigi's that chimes in with great ideas for Ruby. Recently we've been working on sorting objects by color (she does pretty well until she's bored and then she loses focus and interest). Our next step will be to sort them by shape or 'type' (animals, foods, etc.) Ruby is also stringing big beads or pasta onto shoelaces....another area I was unaware she could do at all until we showed her and she picked it up the first time.

We are almost two, so I've been working with Time Out. Yeah....we will be working on that for a while. She doesn't get it, or thinks it's a game, or both. And the word "no" is sometimes met with her hurrying to do whatever she is on her way to do. (To be fair, sometimes it's met with intentional walking away also.)
Asking for help on her own, without me prompting her, is a huge thing. She has done that several times in the last few weeks and I LOVE it.

Ruby is climbing into and out of any chair she can. Sometimes it's her small lounger that the kids got her for Christmas, sometimes it's her car seat, sometimes it's the couch. Whatever it is though, she giggles the whole time.
Ruby shows us continually that she 'gets' things. She listens and picks up on stuff that I'm not even trying to teach her. When I took her for a haircut last week, the beautician gave her and Maddux each a paper cup of animal crackers. When Maddux was done, I threw her cup in the trash. About a minute later, Ruby finished her crackers and crossed the room to the trash can where she threw hers away. We haven't worked on the concept of trash or throwing things away, but that girl doesn't miss a thing.

No comments: