Friday, April 9, 2010

Developmental Progress

10/22/09: Ellie's Goals for first 6 Month Period

1. She will be able to hold her head up when I/Andrew carry her--check
2. She will reach out and grasp toys--check
3. She will sit and play with toys--Not yet

Yesterday was Ellie Bear's 6-month Early Childhood Intervention Evaluation.  Jan, our case worker and developmental therapist, along with Juana, an occupational therapist, evaluated what skills Ellie has developed--ie she raises her head & chest while on her tummy, she will grasp toys across the midline with each hand and so forth.

They were very impressed with Ellie's progress and she is pretty much right on track developmentally.  For the past few months, we have been working really hard in getting Ellie to sit with some support.  Ellie has a different idea--she wants to stand.  She does this big back arching thing which I have been told is "bad" because "no one gets up to a stand by arching one's back".  Okay then, but I have yet to see a person with Down Syndrome unable to walk.  Anyway, we (Andrew & I)  have be trying different positioning techniques in the Bumbo, with the Boppy, and on the floor.  Anytime she arches her back we are to bend her forward at the hips.  Yesterday we tried even more ways to get her to sit with minimal support.

Ellie has strong back muscles from all of her tummy time, but her stomach muscles are weak.  With these modified sitting positions, the goal is to strengthen the stomach muscles so that the tone & strength is equal to her back.   Ellie Bear did a very good job yesterday as we moved her through these different positions and I am feeling a little more positive.

I hate the word "Eat".  Mealtimes used to be fun, but they have turned into a battlefield.  Because many children with Down Syndrome have speech issues, parents are encouraged to start sign language.  Yesterday, the team decided that we need to start using signs when communicating with Ellie.  It is good to start with one word at a time.  Jan said to start with the word "eat".  Repetition is key.  At each meal, I am to sign "eat" while saying the word.  I am to wait for her to sign it back.  Yeah right.  If she does not sign it back, I am to take her hand and have her make the sign while saying "eat".  Then I give her the spoon.  Here is what happens:

Me:  "Ellie want to eat?" [signs eat]

Ellie: Laughs

Me: "Ellie want to eat?" [signs eat]

Ellie: throws hissy fit because she wants food.

Me:  help Ellie make the sign for eat as I say "eat".  Give her food.

Repeat multiple times.  Eventually there is now more laughing at the sign, just angry babbles.  She has made some progress--when I take her hand to make the sign, she thens opens her mouth in anticipation for food.  Not bad for only doing this for 1 day.

Since Ellie is progressing quickly, we have decided to bump up the visits to twice a month to keep challenging her.

New Goal:
1. Ellie will sit without support in a high chair or shopping cart.


  1. Go Ellie Go! I love the personalized bloomers.

  2. Way to go Ellie!

    PS - LOVE the bloomers!


I love your comments and I read each and every single one of them.