Physical Therapy

Liam is Crawling!

Ok so here is the video. Liam has been crawling like this for a week now. Jeremy had just finished bouncing Liam on his lap… which is his favorite thing, and proceeded to set him down on the floor which he wasn’t too happy about. So that’s why he’s so expressive in the beginning of the video – he wanted to keep bouncing;). Then he gets his eye on the stick and crawls to it. We are so proud!! He’s actually crawling to many different toys today which he hasn’t done yet, so I think he’s about to be all over the place! Our physical therapist said she’s happy with the way he is learning to crawl in that he has seemed to skipped the army crawl stage, and the crawling on his hands and feet stage. It’s lots of fun to watch!

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1 year update

Here is a developmental update on Liam. At his one year appointment he weighed 23 lbs. 3 oz. and 30.5 inches long! Our pediatrician is still using the typical developing child’s chart instead of a DS chart, because he is doing so well growth wise. For height he is in the 80th percentile and for weight he is in the 55th percentile! I’m so proud! He is such a big boy!! However his head circumference falls in the 5th percentile which is typical for DS. They checked his vision at his appointment too and it came back within normal range and they’ll recheck it every year to make sure… I’m so thankful for this result!!

Physical Therapy update – Liam will get on all fours and rock and make a tiny attempt to crawl, maybe 2 movements forward. He’ll move his hands forward and then usually either move to sitting or just fall on his belly;). He moves from laying on the floor to the sitting position really well! He often gets on his hands and knees and then up on his toes… it’s pretty cute! He loves to stand so right now we are working on cruising. He’s still a bit slow at it but will move his feet with a little guidance and will sometimes do it on his own. He also of course LOVES to bounce! His DS allows him super flexibility… I mean he can do the splits and lean all the way forward. So we have a little hip band that I put on him throughout the day that helps him keep his legs from sitting too far apart when he is playing; they are called at-a-bands. He does a good job playing on his knees but prefers to stand… and he can pull to stand from sitting or kneeling pretty well as long as he can get a good grip and I’m behind him to catch him in case he falls because he’s still a bit wobbly. He stands up in his crib now… as of two days ago and I think he’s pretty proud of himself. The first time I went in to get him and saw him standing he gave me a big smile and started bouncing;). For a while I was pretty emotional about him not crawling yet, but at this point I am thankful that he’s not getting into everything while I’m getting bigger and heavier these days!! I’m so proud of him and he’s so fun to watch just make his way around a room to get to his toys. He’s a pretty content happy little guy with his toys!

We are going to have a speech evaluation done on him in the beginning of January and hopefully begin speech therapy shortly after. He has just recently (the week he turned 1) started to become talkative and saying ba ba, blah, blah, da da, and some other consonant that I don’t think is in our alphabet;). It’s sure fun to listen to him now!! I have been using some sign language with him for a while and he understands a hand full of it. He knows what these signs mean – eat, juice, up, all done, and milk. He doesn’t do them back to me yet. The only one I think he does sign is momma… not completely sure, but I think so! He is also a good waver and knows when I wave to him and say ‘hi’ he usually waves back… so cute!!! He loves to wave and often gets carried away staring at his waving hand!

He also holds his own bottle now when he drinks! I’ve been working on it with him for a while now so it’s so good to watch him do it all by himself. He does need a little refocusing once in a while but for the most part he has it down as long as I’m holding him and he’s not too distracted;). He also drinks juice out of his sippy cup all by himself. It’s time to start weaning him from the bottle and onto a cup… we’ll see how that goes. I’ve tried a couple different kinds and he’s just not interested yet.

His gross motor skills are great and his fine motor skills are pretty good. His pincer grasp is still a work in progress… like he can’t quite grab a puff (if you have little kids you know what this is) off his tray yet with his pincer… but can every once in a while with the raking motion. If it’s something bigger like a banana or carrot he can handle that. He has such a great Early Intervention teacher who has been helping me work with him on his OT. Right now we are working on dropping a toy with purpose. He can pick them up well and bang two toys together and pull toys out of a container, but he won’t put them back in yet.

Oh and he is teething! He got his first tooth on December 10th and has been working on the second one that should pop through any day now. The one he has is on his lower left side, front tooth. It’s so cute and a bit crooked;). Because of this it’s been a rough last week and we are ready for daddy to come home. How come he’s gone when sleepless nights happen… interesting timing;)!

I can probably put down a whole lot more but it’s time for my nap… because it’s time for his;)! I live for his naps these days! Baby sister is going to be here before we know it!


Update on Physical Therapy

Liam has been doing really well with his physical therapy lately! He is starting to sit up for longer periods of time all by himself (he holds on to our hands and we help him up to a sitting position, and he stays there). It’s so cute! Besides being in his jumper as you may have seen in the previous post, he now loves to work on standing. He would much rather stand than sit – it’s pretty funny! I need to get a picture of him standing because he becomes so animated while standing. He holds on to our fingers and pushes up with his legs and stays holding on until he needs a break. In this picture Liam is sitting at a little tray that the physical therapist brought and he just loves it. He forgets he is sitting because he is so distracted by his toys! It’s been a big help.

sitting at tray

The physical therapist also brought this little toy and he just recently became really interested in it. I think he finally figured out that when he pushes the buttons it makes noise and lights up. So he’s been sitting up really well with this toy! Check out his little mullet that’s forming… I think it’s already time for a hair cut! He’s too young for a party in the back;)!

V-tech

Another toy he has recently started to figure out and enjoy is this little drum (of all things – thanks Derk!). It sings the ABC’s when you bang on it and he loves to hit it! Such a great distraction while he is working on sitting. And of course it makes Daddy proud too;). He doesn’t look too impressed here, but he really enjoys it, I promise!

momdrum

So here he is! My big boy sitting up all by himself! Apparently children with Down Syndrome tend to have shorter limbs than typical kids. When learning to sit, the typical kid can support his weight with his hands resting on the floor. Liam has to learn to sit by resting his hands on his legs. However, he doesn’t really enjoy that part and just wants to take on the challenge of balancing, which is actually working out well for him.

sitting up

This next picture is the position Liam likes to be in during tummy time! As my sister likes to say, he is my little “skydiver”! He does put his arms underneath him to support him, but it’s not his favorite position. It takes lots of good motivators to get him to pivot and use those arms. I’ve recently discovered that if I put him in the crawl position over my leg on the floor, and put the Baby Einstein video on my laptop on the floor in front of him, he will be so interested in the video that he won’t realize he’s putting weight on his arms. It’s worked great so far, and the physical therapist liked it!

skydiving

All in all, Liam is doing really well and always impressing our physical therapist. So much so, that she suggested she move to only coming twice a month instead of once a week. So we’ll see. She’s been a big help. Liam has the rolling thing down, both directions, even with his brace on;)!! And he’s starting to tuck his knees under him like he’s about to crawl… we just need to get those arms ready too! I’ll keep you updated!