Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Work and play

Every 6-8 weeks we are visited at home by the physio (Vicki) and the play specialist (Jaqui).  They tend to do joint visits as play, movement and the development of fine and gross motor skills in babies are very much related.   They work Ella hard for the hour and a half session and leave us with plenty of homework to do. They also see her in nursery in between the home visits too.


Seeing Ella every day, its very difficult to appreciate how much she can actually do and to notice all the little changes and new skills she acquires.  We take the 'homework' we are given very seriously and work Ella really hard (she is unaware as its all done through play or other fun activities!).  It was easy for Jaqui and Vicki to see the difference in Ella and to tick several things off their lists from last time and that helps me too as it means our hard work is paying off.  And it's still the small things that count.  Finding hidden objects, dropping toys into a container, a pointed finger beginning to emerge are all changes Jaqui noticed in her.  It would also seem that baby girl has skipped a few steps as she is able to post balls into a hole but her social skills are lagging - still no waving or clapping (which we do at any and every opportunity!).....  


Play for Ella is not just an exciting, normal baby activity but is mostly engineered to get her engaged, motivated, moving and co-ordinated! And depending upon where she is up to developmentally, we have different things to work on or consider when choosing activities to do with her.





She's got that off to a fine art now!


For now, getting her to start moving her legs round while sitting, lots of tummy time and toys to motivate her to crawl, starting to shape sort and practising sitting to standing are what we will mostly be doing.  And waving and clapping, of course!  







Now onto the next step - different shapes.  Not quite got the hang of it yet....!


Vicki has said baby girl needs some better support for standing and to help when she starts walking.  We have been referred to orthotics and are going to get her measured up for some boots next week.  I had a bit of a moment when I realised I wont get to take her to get her first pair of shoes, not the way I had imagined anyway...


Ella is suddenly much more expressive and chatty.  Children with Down's Syndrome are known to be visual learners.  That is why signing (makaton) is an important communication tool.  We started signing with Ella when she was quite young and she now understands what some signs mean - food, drink, car, sleep.  I am starting to learn more signs now as Ella has started to copy actions, noises and faces.  She is not copying any signs yet, but will do in time.  


This is what she did tonight after I had sung 'Incy Wincy Spider' with the hand actions.....







Not specifically copying, but very focused on her hands, doing 'actions' whilst chatting away to herself

In other news, we are now actively house hunting, which has been fairly short lived and quite stressful.  We've found the house we both love, put in two offers...both have so far been rejected.  Frustrating!

Watch this space...  

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Life in slow motion... I wish!

Life seems to be very busy at the moment. Work, nursery, flat to rent, appointments, social life, Ian's exam revision etc etc....


Ella is changing everyday, growing and learning.  She's trying to crawl, mastered finger feeding and continues to enchant us with her ever emerging character.  


We are hoping that her gastrostomy tube will be removed soon as we no longer use it... Baby girl fed herself a whole cheese toastie for lunch today.  A definite proud moment for us. This time last year she was NG fed, had lost her sucking reflex and her heightened gag response meant she wouldn't let anything in her mouth.  To me, the days of her feeding herself were years away and I certainly didn't think that I would be taking pictures like these just a few months later....







Hamster cheeks!

Just keeping an eye on daddy and Chris


I am starting to learn lots more signs (makaton) as she has a good understanding of the signs we are already using and is beginning to copy our actions (need to be more prepared for when she starts signing herself).  She has her own way of communicating 'yes' in answer to questions by putting her hands over her ears! (will try and get a picture).








More teeth have made an appearance too


To Ella, the world has suddenly become a very exciting place. Turning on light switches, rolling lots, exploring toys, flinging things are all favourites....


So is standing at every opportunity...



Splashing in the bath...







Pulling out the plug...





Books.  She loves books...





She also loves playing...





Happy Sunday xx








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