Friday, December 21, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
She still has bursts of being very playful. Here she is doing some walking with her favorite person of the moment:
Quite a short walk, but she was distracted by the video camera.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Here she is doing one of her happy baby dances.
Monday, November 05, 2007
I was reading recent posts, and realised that its only been 3 weeks since Sheena learnt to get into standing on her own. She now cruises around the furniture, and stands up like she's been doing it for months. Hubby even found her at full stretch holding onto the edge of the big table for sheer life. We can only assume that she navigated her way there via a chair, but from where we were it didn't look easy.
Sheena has succumbed to conjunctivitis. She often gets watery eyes, that resolves itself within a few hours, as she's got a blocked tear duct that causes that from time to time, but this was something different. She is now on antibiotic eye drops, which should quickly do the trick.
We've been thinking about speech lately, and we're not having a lot of progress on that front. She will repeat things like coo-wee, or ohhh-dear, nana, dada, doe-doe, but that is about it. Her 'ta', is not consistent, and if she does it, it comes out as 'agh'. We were thinking how different life would be if she did chat away. Speech apraxia can be a factor both with Down Syndrome and Infantile Spasms. Its a speech disorder that interferes with a child's ability to correctly pronounce sounds, syllables and words. It is the loss of ability to consistently position the articulators (face, tongue, lips, jaw) for the production of speech sounds and for sequencing those sounds into syllables or words. The child does not have difficulty with non-speech activities performed with the muscles such as coughing, chewing or swallowing. However, the area of the brain that tells the muscles how to move and what to do make a particular sound or series of sounds is damaged or not fully developed. This make retrieving the 'motor plan' for saying a work difficult. We shall see. To me, it seems consistent with her so far.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Here is Sheena having fun with some other kids. Sheena's idea of gentle is not exactly predicable, so I was holding her hands for everyone's sake.
Sheena had a great speech pathology appointment, and she's got a few more activities to help her lip seal and ultimately her speech. I thought that the lip seal activities in particular would be a tediously long haul, with very slow results, but we're told it will be 6wks to 6mths, and we'll should see significantly more control. Fortunately Sheena is enjoying the activities, particularly all those that involve looking in the mirror, and all that involve someone singing songs to her. She is definitely babbling considerably more, with more variation, and this is only after 3 days of doing the activities 3 times a day. The lip seal issue is because of her low muscle tone. With delays in trunk control, jaw control is also delayed. This, along with a high arch in her mouth, all make the lip seal more of a challenge.
Sheena is loving her books, and has recently started to consistently turn the page herself. This took her ages to achieve, so it is a nice one.
She had a hearing test today, and got an 'A' as a result. She was very dramatic when she turned to look at the noise - a soap opera performance.
My computer has not been co-operative lately, so I have not posted much lately.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
Monday, September 03, 2007
Sunday, September 02, 2007
A+ for enthusiasm Sheena.
This is a much longer post that usual for me, but I got a transcript of the radio piece by a Father from Sheena's Hey Dad Playgroup. Here 'tis:
"I'm looking forward to Father's Day. We didn't really celebrate it in my home-country when I was a kid, so it's still a bit of a novelty for me. It's not really about me of course, but it's a nice to give my kids a special occasion to feel good about their family.
From my eldest daughter, C*, I'm expecting a big hug, maybe a new painting she has made for me at kinder and, if I'm really lucky, she might help her Mum make breakfast in bed.
From my youngest daughter, S*, I'm not sure what to expect. I am used to that with S* now though, so I'll be glad for whatever I get. You see, S* has been diagnosed with "developmental delay", and despite being three years old, doesn't really understand what Father's Day is.
It's a voyage of discovery with S*.. She doesn't have an exact condition like Down Syndrome or anything like that, so we just never know what to expect from her next. In many ways she's just like any other girl her age: she's got a cheeky smile, she's an expert at hide and seek and she just loves taking the mickey out of her dad.
In fact, she's so like any other girls that it took us a while to notice that there was something different about S*. She just seemed a little late to make some of the achievements we'd seen C* make. She was slow to put weight on her legs and to learn to walk.
We were hoping that she'd start speaking by her third birthday, but that's come and gone now. Still, she's getting very close to "YES" and "OK" and she always finds a way to get her point across. She may never talk fluently, but that's something we'll cope with as we go along.
The fact that we can't know which milestones S* will pass and which ones will always be out of her reach can make things a little tough - especially for a dad. While I'm at work, my wife takes S* to all her medical appointments and talks to experts about what might be coming next.
I try to remain as involved as possible in these aspects, but sometimes I feel that I'm missing out on a lot of S*'s development. We're trying to teach her sign language at the moment and it's always a bit of a shock when I realise that my four year old daughter, C*, is much more proficient that I am.
That is why I'm really glad to part of "Hey Dad" group at Yooralla's Early Childhood Intervention Services. It's a group, designed for that dads of kids like S* to give us a chance to spend a little time with our kids, see what they're up to in playgroup and meet other dads just like us.
There I spend a bit of time with S*, doing the kind of things she normally does at her playgroup. We do a painting together, mould some play dough, play with a few toys. It doesn't sound like much but it keeps me in touch with what my beautiful daughter is up to and helps me learn how to reinforce at home what she learns in her weekly programme.
I talk to other dads, sometimes about our kids, sometimes about sport. I can see what their kids are up to and how they're growing. It's normal, its just a different kind of normal.
That's what I love about Yooralla. They don't just look after S*; they make sure the whole family unit is involved in everything. When S* was first diagnosed, it was hard for all of us. Yooralla staff took time to talk to us through what was happening and helped prepare us for dealing with how to cope when you don't know what to expect.
And most of the time, life's actually pretty good. S* is the undisputed champion of indoor soccer and loves wrestling with her sister and dad. When she laughs at something, you have to repeat it at least five times. She's not a bad dance partner either and she's clever enough to ignore Dad when it's time to be serious.
Sure, it can be tough at times. But we live in hope, we aim high and we deal with reality as it comes.
Yeah, I'm looking forward to Father's Day. Even more though, I'm looking forward to Father's Day next year. I don't know for sure, but I like to believe that by then my youngest daughter will understand what Father's Day is."
Saturday, September 01, 2007
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Monday, August 13, 2007
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Saturday, August 04, 2007
She can be quite determined and patient when she is trying to sort something out. Tonight she was in the bath, standing up at the edge banging at a toy boat. After throwing it away, I replaced it with a rubber toy that was much harder to grasp. She was awfully determined to get a hold of it, all while she was standing on her wobble-board legs.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Monday, July 23, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Friday, July 13, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Saturday, June 02, 2007
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
Thursday, May 24, 2007
While in hospital I met a lady that had just been told their 18 month old had a serious genetic condition that has major health impacts. She was in the raw stages of crying non-stop, and reading all of the material saying how her kid is going to have kidney failure, is not going to grow properly etc etc. I gave her a very brief history of bubba, and she was saying 'how do you cope'... It was good to be able to pass on a few comments that had helped me. Most of the time I just acknowledged that it is really hard, because in the early days it is.