Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Learning to fly...

It's official.  Ella is no longer a baby...  This Friday she leaves the baby room at nursery and moves up to the toddler room...  It's only been ten months since I went back to work and Ella started nursery. In lots of ways it feels like much longer.  And all the worries I had back then seem almost silly now.  

More than anything I am glad that I trusted my instincts and stood by my decision to send her to the 'mainstream' nursery at my workplace.  It was a leap of faith for them and us as they have never had a baby with Down's Syndrome before. I could too easily have sought out a nursery that caters for children with special needs but I had heard such good things from my colleagues and I knew when I walked through the door that this is where I wanted her to go.  Besides, my stubborn side stood her ground - I'd put her name down before she was born and just because things hadn't turned out the way I'd planned I didn't see why we couldn't give it a go... 

So, we took a breath and made that leap....




...And I couldn't have asked for more.  The girls in the baby room have given my girl her wings and enabled her to fly much, much higher than I could ever imagined... 




All I ever wanted was for Ella to be included alongside her peers and to be loved and cared for, for no other reason than because she is Ella.  The nursery have embraced her and her needs just as they do with every child they look after.  She has come on so much in ten short months...  sitting, crawling, signing, talking, socialising, playing and feeding.  And all thanks to the hard work of the staff who always go above and beyond for every baby in their care. An amazing place for Ella to start her educational journey.  




 Because 'everyone deserves a chance to fly'...xx







Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Messy business...

It's taken some time but Ella has recently started taking an interest in feeding herself.  At the moment, this lasts for two to three spoonfuls and then she reverts to using her hands.  Which is all well and good, unless you're attempting to eat porridge... mealtimes can get rather messy!...






Who said you can't eat porridge with your hands?...






It still amazes me how far Ella has come with her feeding.  We struggled from the very start.   We are here today via NG tube, oral aversion, open heart surgery and a gastrostomy.  She will get there, she's come so far already!  

Most amazingly development wise, she can now drink from a straw.  She never sucked as a baby and it's a really important skill required for speech and language development in all children (uses and tones the muscles used for speech).  I was up for the challenge of teaching her this skill and decided to introduce her to it and see how we got on.  

No teaching required.  She just put it in her mouth and knew what to do with it (along with some gentle squeezing of the carton by Aunty Vicky to start with). 

We will never get tired of watching her do this - there was a lot of heartache at the very beginning over not being able to breastfeed and the struggle with bottle feeding that led to her being NG fed...


In other news, Ella continues to communicate well and I find myself adding new signs and words to her display every week.  Her most recent sign is 'baby/doll' which I didn't know she knew.  We got home from nursery and she pointed at her doll and did the sign for 'baby'...

I have also spent an entire evening cutting and laminating the 'see and learn' picture card resources.  We have started using them with the suggested activities and so far so good...


She's also been standing unsupported for a few seconds, still loves being on her trike and has been having fun with herself the mirror...






We've also been witnessing a new style of 'crawling' recently...

And a lot of 'oooops'....

Thanks for reading xx





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