Sunday, May 25, 2008

Heading Out

Sheena has started to be very helpful when its time to leave the house. She now gets her own jacket and shoes from the cupboard.
Sheena had another shocking EI playgroup last week, but I persisted through her tears of protest, and just wanting to be cuddled. I think she is resisting being made to 'work' with all the therapists. If it was free-play she'd prefer it much more, but unfortunately that is not the point of it all. One of my mothers groups was in the same centre later in the week, and she was fine after 5 minutes of wanting cuddles, and being unsure. As soon as she was satisfied that there was no pressure to 'perform', she was happy and played and socialised nicely with everyone.

Monday, May 12, 2008

No, No. Yes, Yes.

Although she can sign yes and no, Sheena doesn't really shake or nod her head, which we're trying to encourage. I found this cute book on yes and no, so that I can massively over-exaggerate the head-actions while I am reading it to her. It has quickly become a favorite as you can see from these pics. The reason she doesn't nod or shake her head isn't because she doesn't get it, its basically because she still hasn't got the body/muscle control to do the action. Meanwhile, she'll nicely do incy-wincy spider, so its a bit confusing on why one thing works and another is still to come.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Baby-meltdown morning

Sheena had a baby-meltdown at her EI playgroup this morning, and I took her home after only 20 minutes. She was crying, clingy, and very sooky. The main co-ordinator who is a Special Ed teacher was worried that we were setting a bad trend, but she had been in the other building while Sheena was having her first meltdown. With her encouragement, we gave it another try, but we lasted another 5 minutes tops. Despite her best efforts (and this lady is really experienced in working with pre-schoolers) at making it fun and interesting, she also realised that this was not Sheena's usual form, and it wasn't going to be worth the while today.

It was a big shame to have missed playgroup, because most of the other kids were away with colds, and there were more therapists than children. She was OK by the time we got home, so I don't know what was going on. Next week, I'll try to get there a bit early, and maybe she'll ease into it OK like she usually does.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Reading Role-Model
Here is Sheena and Cousin Mark bonding over a book.

We had our six monthly visit to Sheena's Paediatrician today. We had to talk thyroid problems, but Sheena's recent TSH blood test result was so mildly elevated, that we are not going to treat it yet. We'll monitor it, and start medication later if it gets worse. Sheena will flick her right leg out a little bit when she walks, but the Dr thinks this is her general low-tone rather than it being her hips out of place. As she continues to build strength this should reduce.

We had a neck xray at the hospital to see if Sheena has Atlantoaxial instability - 14% of people with Down Syndrome have atlantoaxial instability. Its recommended that it gets assessed between the ages of 2 and 4, as children get more active and before they get involved in sports. We find out in a week where Sheena fits in.

Sheena also had another speech pathology appointment today. Made for a busy day, but all worked out well. We got a long nap in, which makes the world of difference.

Cool cat

We've had a cold-snap, and I've been able to dress-up Sheena in her leopard suit. In this photo she was running around the house roaring like a lion.

She's been a little unsettled with creche recently - only late in the afternoon. I'd been blaming it on the fact that she only manages about a 1 hour nap at creche, but always has a two hour nap at home.

However, it occurred to me this week that she might be just hungry, because she's usually after a decent snack around 4pm. She starts signing for food, points to the kitchen then goes in there and sits or stands near the pantry and does the biscuit sign (for a cracker) or the sultana sign. This is all really easy for me to work out, because 1. I am her mum, and very in-tune with her, and 2. She has my full attention at home and I see her sign-language every day. Anyway after I suggested it at creche, it worked! They said she started to get a out-of-sorts at 4pm, and they gave her a snack and some milk. She was very happy when I picked her up and stayed that way until bedtime. Makes for a much more pleasant evening. Isn't it great when something so simple works and makes life happier for everyone.

I might go into creche for an hour or so soon so that I can help show the carers her main signs. We see them very clearly, but I suspect its hard for the child-care workers to determine what is her mucking about playing, versus her trying to sign something. While she's playing, she constantly signs, like "dolly", or "baby dolly sleeping", but I suspect they don't see a lot of this.