So here's how things went this week for Lauren:
Lauren's physio therapist said we need to work on getting Lauren's core muscles (abdominal area) and lower trunk stronger and she needs to gain a better sense of balance. The next step for Lauren is crawling at this point, but her weak core muscles always cause her to collapse when she is on her hands and knees. I think it will be awhile before she gains this strength. I remember when she first sat. It took a few months for her to gain alot of strength to sit well independently. At first when she sat, she could only face forward. She couldn't even turn or rotate her trunk to look at anything on the side, otherwise if she did, she would topple over.It is only over the past few months that she is sitting more comfortably with balance and can confidently reach for things to the side without falling over.
We also saw her occupational therapist this week who pretty much had the same observations. Crawling is the next logical step. Also we should work on getting Lauren to pull up on furniture. Again, a strength and balance issue of the upper body. Crap, I feel like we are training her for the olympics..what comes so easily for most kids, she has to work so hard to just get there.Its frustrating and tests my patience every day...but I guess as long as she gets there in the end, who cares how long it takes her to crawl, walk, run? As long as she gets there....i'll keep my fingers crossed.
The worst part about therapies is they always send you home with "homework". Exercises to do when at home. And every time we have a PT or OT appointment, they always ask how the exercises are going.....kind of like when the dentist ask if you've been flossing. You debate for a minute whether to tell the truth, that you floss "kind of", some days not at all, and that the night before you go for the appointment you make sure you brush and floss like there is no tomorrow. Well its the same with the exercises. We always have the intention of "flossing" every day, maybe even twice a day, but some days we get lazy, and some days we think "what's the big deal if we skip a day", and some days are just so busy, we just don't have time. And then when the dentist announces you have a cavity and proceeds to pry your mouth open with clamps, you think "crap I should've flossed". After seeing my dentist and the PT and OT this week, my summer resolution to myself: I will floss and Lauren will do her exercises at least once per day. I don't know how many times I've made that promise to myself to floss every day, but now that its tied to Lauren, I think she will keep me to it.
The vision therapist was pleasantly surprised by Lauren when we saw her.She primarily observed Lauren playing with different toys that she brought and remarked that Lauren was seeing better than what she had expected (from the paper result). She says that Lauren does not exhibit all the common characteristics of CVI from what she observed (e.g. most kids with CVI would not be able to pick up a cheerio off a white background and Lauren is able to do this and Lauren does look at an object and grab it, whereas some kids with CVI will look at an object and then turn their head away from the object and then grab the object). Lauren does like to gaze at shiny objects, reflective surfaces, and especially at lights and fans and we find she has difficulties looking at people, faces and observing her surroundings and environment. The vision therapist will continue to do her observations/assessment every 2 weeks for the rest of the summer so we will keep everyone posted.
I took Lauren this week to a playgroup called Wiggles and Giggles. Thankfully there were only 2 other babies there, a 5 month old and a 9 month old. Lauren really enjoyed it. What a difference from a few months ago. I almost cried when Lauren started reaching up in the air to try and touch the bubbles from the bubble machine...she would have never done this a few months ago.I know its hard to believe, but a three months ago, she would have just sat there or lied on the floor and just stared blankly at the bubbles (and I would be wondering whether she notices them or not) and her hands would have been at her side just resting. Finally she is showing more interest!
So as you can see, its been a busy week and in between all this, we've been trying to keep Kayla busy. She was so bored, she even went with me to the dentist and hair dresser...anything to get out of the house I guess. Kayla, our monkey girl, took a huge fall yesterday off the back of our couch (because she was jumping up and down on it) and landed on her face against the kitchen floor. There was so much blood streaming out of her mouth, I honestly thought she had knocked a tooth out. Thankfully, it was just a deep cut on her lip. And what did she do today? She jumped off the back of the couch again...when will they learn?