Monday, September 17, 2012

Learning More About These Kids Everyday

Another busy day today! 

First of all, Griffin has not felt well at all and he has taken it just like a man...which means horribly. LOL.  He has been grumpy and I had no clue for two days what was going on with him until his nose finally started running.  Today he is back to his angelic self.  He was so great today that he actually scored some extra play time tonight.  He really enjoyed it!

So this morning started off with getting both of the little ones to their Occupational Therapy Appts.  Chris got off work at 0200 and tagged along to help me wrangle them.  He also kept one child outside while the other was in their appt.  We started off with Little G's appt and she had a blast!  The OT is still just figuring out what makes her tick and they sat on the floor for the solid hour just working on puzzles.  She really stepped it up a lot today and knows so much more than even I knew!  Isn't it just crazy how society links the level of knowledge with the ability to speak?  At one point, the OT said that Little G was incredibly smart for her age, to which I said, "YAY!" lol... and he quickly said, "Nooooo!"  That threw me off a bit.  He explained that this isn't the best case scenario for a child who doesn't speak...that they have a tendency to "work the system" to keep from progressing in their speech and that they can figure out ways to work around having to speak by trying to stay one step ahead of the teacher.  I noticed Little G doing that a lot today.  Too funny!

Next, Griffin's appt went great, too!  He explored that room like crazy today.  He was literally everywhere and the OT was impressed with Griffin's drive to climb.  Of his patients with Down syndrome, he has not had many who have wanted to climb.  Griffin was giving it his all and worked hard today.  He caught on very quickly on how to climb a ladder to reach a rope that he had his eye on.  He loved jumping and playing on the trampoline as well!  He got some great belly laughs on that thing.  Then he got to play in the ball pit and his facial expressions were hilarious.  I don't think he liked it that much.  He sat there and tried to adjust to it but finally he just started tossing the balls out of the pit, one by one.  I guess he was thinking that if we wouldn't remove him from the ball pit, that he would remove the balls instead.  LOL.   He is majorly impressed with how well Griffin is progressing, especially after I told him about our first few days in the orphanage with Griffin... how he had no drive about him.  He would just lay down on the floor and try to shut down on us.  He would crawl but he had no endurance.  The difference is just amazing to us.  The OT (his name is Torsten) said that he believes that Griffin was storing up every bit of information that he could for survival.  He didn't miss anything at all while he sat in the orphanage and watched, day in and day out.  Now, since he is free, he's putting all of these things into motion and having a blast while doing it!  :-)  I totally agree! 

Torsten recommended that we buy an indoor trampoline for the little ones.  I had already planned on doing this but I just need to find the right kind with no frame.  Hopefully Santa will bring them one this year! 

From lack of use, Griffin's feet are extremely slick on the bottoms.  He slides around very easily and Torsten made the comment that it's like he is walking around in socks.  He also said that over time, his arches will build up in his feet and hopefully they won't be so flat.  He also stated that every muscle in his body was having to work overtime, but his balance was excellent. His muscle tone is making him so he's fighting hard to keep himself upright.

Torsten gave some suggestions of some things I should try for Little G and Griffin and I'm relieved that he suggested these things because I've already been doing them, simply because they love it.  He suggested that I throw them on the couch a lot, up into the air, hold them upside down, and swing them hammock style by the arms and legs, to meet their sensory needs.  He also encouraged me to put Griffin into situations where he has to struggle a bit to get free.  He said that by doing this, we will be teaching him problem solving techniques that will only help him in the future.  I've been doing this already by putting him on his back inside his empty diaper boxes.  He will struggle hard to get up since there's really not a lot of space, but he will do it!  While Griffin was doing his thing, he made his normal deep growling sound that caught Torsten's attention.   He said that he is meeting one of his sensory needs by making that growl.  It makes sense!  Growl to yourself and feel the sensation that it gives you.  He also encouraged that we keep doing deep pressure on both of them.  It works like a charm with Little G when she starts to get out of sorts.  If she is melting down, I can start squeezing each of her arms tightly and she will stop almost instantly.  The deep pressure helps them find themselves.

After those appts, we went home, had lunch, put Little G and Chris down for a nap, and then Griff and I went to his pediatric appt.  This was the followup for the fluid in his ears.  He weighed in at 25.7 lbs!  That is 5 lbs of healthy weight gain since his first pediatric appt 3 months ago!  He is the exact same height of 31.3 inches.  Since that appt, he has also had 2 teeth to come through.  The doctor put him on an allergy medicine to help clear the fluid out of his ears.  She wants to see him again in 1 month to see if they are clear.  If not, she will put in a referral for ENT to determine if he will need tubes.  She also put in a pelvis x-ray because Torsten is concerned about his hip movement.

But anyway, that's our day!  It's been another great one!  Tomorrow, I'm going to the doc for my migraines.  That's one appt that I can hardly wait for! 

Love and Hugs! 

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