Today’s fact: Parents of a child with Down syndrome are less likely to get divorced than the rest of the population.
Alright, today we’re going to talk about therapy! Have I told you how we got started with therapy? I don’t know, so sorry if I’ve already written about this. While Daniel was in the NICU, one of the administrative ladies (I’m not sure exactly what her title is) gave us a brochure from Mesa Developmental Services and the name of a case manager who would be getting in touch with us. I had to do nothing! She also informed us that in Colorado a diagnosis of Down syndrome means automatic qualification for services. So even though a team came out and did an initial assessment on Daniel, there was nothing he had to do/not do to qualify for early intervention. (I don’t know how that works in other states.) After that we got assigned a physical therapist and we’ve been seeing her since then.
We saw her once a month for the first couple times, then every two weeks, and now we should be switching to every week (provided our case manager agrees at our 6 month assessment next week. The therapist said that shouldn’t be a problem.) We’re doing therapy more often not because he’s especially delayed (he’s at about 5-5 1/2 months developmentally), but because as babies develop they learn more things more quickly. So at 2 months we were working on head control and one therapy session a month was fine. Now at 6 months we’re working on independent sitting and head control while sitting; we’re working on strengthening abs and back (to help with both sitting and crawling); we’re working on holding his weight on hands and knees, and practicing movements to help get him ready to crawl. You can see why therapy once a week makes sense.
So. What does a six month old do in physical therapy? I’ll show you, because today I took pictures! (And yes, I asked if it she was okay with me posting them online.)
Right now therapy is a lot like play. Slightly more structured, but still a lot like play. Here he’s practicing reaching and grabbing. Also, Cheryl is checking out how well he’s doing with pushing up on extended arms.
Letting him rest his weight on his arms here, and discussing with me ways to improve his core strength.
Practicing moving into a sitting position. Repeating a movement over and over helps develop the muscle memory so he can do it by himself in the future.
Working more on core strength and head control in a sitting position. I wish I had gotten a good picture of his face here, he was LOVING it.
That’s about it. Therapy lasts an hour or so, she explains things as she does them (both what they’re for and how to do them) and gives me suggestions for things to work on between sessions. Daniel loves therapy. He smiles the very most for Brian, but Cheryl definitely gets more smiles than I do.