Saturday, July 23, 2011

Damien's Programs 6 Weeks Old

July 16-22, 2011
Stage II on Developmental Profile

We still aren't 100% consistent on checking everything off of our daily lists, but Damien is still growing and developing beautifully, we are getting in lots of cuddling and smiles, and all in all having a great time with this new little one. I try not to beat myself up about "not doing everything". 

The most important thing is to talk to him, hold him, and love him - all of our little "programs" are just fun extras.

Some highlights of another beautiful week with a beautiful boy:
  • He is crawling faster than ever, and more happily, since the addition of a receiving blanket under his head.
  • He has outgrown his contrast board and is wanting more varied, interesting things to look at.
  • His long rang vision is improving. He can see me from across a small room.
  • He is having even more wonderful conversations, "talking" so much and using all kinds of sounds and body language to communicate.
Damien hangs independently for increasingly long periods

(Mobility) Honestly, he is still nowhere near spending the recommended 4-18 hours a day in his crawling track, but his crawling and head control are still doing great. He was averaging probably 30-45 minutes on his tummy in his track daily, but that time has been extremely shortened now that he is crawling so much faster. He usually descends down his inclined track (5.5 feet long) in 2-4 minutes now, instead of 10-20. So his sessions have been shorter, but I haven't really upped the frequency much yet.

(Manual) He hangs from my thumbs completely independently pretty much 100% of the time now instead of only sometimes. He really enjoys this activity. He is in stage II now but I haven't really been practicing the vital release yet.

(Balance) I have been doing a few vestibular exercises, beyond the typical rocking / carrying / moving. He has become really sensitive to movement, and frequently startles when we pick him up too quickly (which is not even very quick). I try and be extremely slow and steady with him because of this.

(Swimming) We had a few sessions of bath tub swimming. Even though I have been cleared by the doctor now I still haven't taken him to the big pool - we plan to this weekend though. He loves "swimming" in the tub though and gets some good movement time in there.

Hunter, 6, showing Damien "square"

(Visual) Damien's vision is growing so fast! He can spot me from across a small room now. I recently wrote how he had "graduated" from his simple checkerboard and is now moving onto more sophisticated visual objects. I am in the works to make him many simple picture boards. I didn't do any light reflexes with him this week, I am really bad at being consistent with that. We haven't done "spotting a light" exercises either.

Also for his visual stimulation program we have done some outline "bit" cards. I can already tell that we are going to need to move onto more detailed outline bits and very soon to move onto "detail within a configuration" type pictures.

(Tactile) Damien's Babinski reflex is very strong, and I think that accounts partially for his substantial improvement in crawling. He is very good at digging his toes into the sides and surface of his track and pushing himself, thanks to his many stimulations. His babinski reflexes have been the most consistent simulation.

Sadly we did not do any hot / cold / pressure stimulations for his tactile program yet this week.

(Auditory) I tried using an air horn to stimulate his vital response, only to find that my dollar store air horn does not work (should I really have been surprised?). Next I tried an air horn app on my phone. Far from loud enough. So we have done the blocks to stimulate his startle reflex now and then but still have to go to the store and get another air horn.

All smiles

Oh, so many smiles! The older he gets, the happier he gets. It is so fun seeing him develop in this area.

(Language) I have been more consistent with our language development program. We have been having many conversations daily, of me talking and giving him the opportunity to "talk" and "answer". I recite our short poem frequently - he lights up for this. He has been developing strongly in this area and his ability to communicate.

 Sleep, Eating, Elimination

(Sleep) Damien is still on a 3-hour schedule, and sleeps for about 5-6 hours straight on most nights. Others he is up every 3 hours. Ugh. I'm sort of working on getting him to sleep longer at nights, but I think I'll have to get him in his own bed, first. (maybe?)

(Eating) There is no news for nursing. He eats, he eats well, he eats quick. Although I think he might have been going through a "growth spurt" because there were a couple of nights that he wanted to eat every 2.5 hours and was somewhat fussy.

(Elimination) Elimination communication still mostly consists of me continuing to help him associate the physical action of having a bowl movement with the sound (words) "poo poo". I haven't been taking him to the potty much, although the two times I did this week, he went without a fuss.

"And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him." 
Luke 2:4
Damien was 6 weeks old this week

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