Thursday, November 11, 2010

Rubber Ducky

Just after receiving Ellie's diagnosis, I met with VP & Social Coordinator of DSACT.  She told me that it was very important to expose Ellie to all sorts of textures as children with Down syndrome can have sensory processing issues, texture aversions, and food aversions.

Obviously I immediately went home and had Ellie experience tummy-time on all sorts of surfaces--fleece blankets, carpet, the crib mattress, the wool rug, and the hardwood floor.  Later on I introduced her to all types of foods--smooth, soft, chunky, warm, cold, room-temp, etc.  Aside from our oatmeal incident, Ellie does well with food.  Our PT Cindy had me start Ellie's day using a baby brush on her limbs working my up her legs and up her arms for "sensory reasons".

One thing we have never gotten past. . . bath-time.  Back when I first starting learning sign language, there was a song:

Turn on the hot.
Turn on the cold.
Water in the bath-tub.
Water in the bath-tub.

Turn on the hot.
Turn on the cold.
Bath-time is so much fun.

Yeah, well, I hate to break it to Monta Z. Birant of the Sign, Sing, & Play Kit (2006), bath time IS NOT, positively NOT so much fun.  It is horrible.

Here is Ellie just a few weeks old.  Already she hates the bath.  This was just sponge bathing at the time. Piercing screams.  So horrible that Andrew could not be in the house during bath-time.  I was told that in time it would get better.  And it did.  For only a few months.  

I started by sticking this plastic infant monstrosity into the bathtub while I showered.  Of course I sang & signed the bath song during the whole thing.  She actually wouldn't scream.  I thought "Here we go.  She likes showers".

Then is all started over again.  She wanted out the infant tub.  I tried filling the regular bathtub with water.  Nope.  Tried sitting her on the bottom of the tub while I showered.  Nope.  Tried holding her while I showered.  A little better for a few weeks.

One would think she didn't like water.

Proof that it isn't all water.

For months we have tried different approaches at the suggestion of ECI.  I have lined the bottom of the tub with towels so she has "grip".  I have tried sponge baths in the big bath tub.  I have tried filling the tub with water.  I have experimented with temperatures.  Then we tried putting her in the laundry basket in the bathtub so that she felt more secure.  Nope.

When we went to Philly, I thought that things would go pretty smoothly because Megan has a stall shower.  I could just sit Ellie on the floor while I showered.  Nope.  Loud screaming that could be heard in New Jersey & Delaware.

I was beginning to despair and ready to put Andrew on bath duty.  Then I saw the ducky bathtub at Target.  It is inflatable sort of like her pool toy.

As with all other experiments, I got her used to the tub outside of the bathroom.

Here she is getting used to the tub without water in it.  She still has her diaper on so it isn't a "real bath" in Ellie Bellie's eyes. 

At last, I thought, success!!!  Look at how happy she is!  She played in the bath.  Splashed around.  Got wet.  Didn't scream or crack her head open.  This went great for 1.5 weeks.  A record.  I became so excited that I emailed Jan of ECI to tell her that something finally worked.  WorkED.  Past tense.

She hates bath-time.  The ducky doesn't work anymore.  Tried it without the water.   Tried it with the water.  We have better luck if Sophie is in the bathroom.  The diaper comes off and she is crawling out the bathroom at lightening speed.  Here she is attempting to escape the tub and screaming in the process.

Here, bath-time is down and she is fine. 


1 comment:

  1. Don't take the diaper off to signal it is a bath? I know. Only half of her will be clean.


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