Therapy

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.

Any questions?

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14 thoughts on “Therapy

  1. I RECOGNIZE those twisty/ab/core movements to go from sitting to tummy and from tummy to sitting. We did them A LOT. At the time I really wondered/questioned how much of it was sinking in for Iris, but–lo–she kicked it into gear and it seems like Daniel is digging it. (Iris did…not.)

    Iris qualified for the public therapies from Early Intervention because of her low birth weight and other diagnoses. Those services are provided for children birth through age three. In our county/state at age three, children are generally then transitioned into a special preschool or special education room where the therapies are incorporated. This spring it then became tricky in communicating with the public schools because we were, in their eyes, refusing services. Something they don’t like to see parents do. But T and I and even Iris’ EI therapist didn’t think she had a need for the additional support in the classroom setting. The administrator and the principal called me to make sure I understood things.

    The whole process was interesting.

    • Sounds a lot the same as here- right now we qualify for Part C, which is birth through age 3. Then he’ll qualify for the district preschool which I’ve heard some about because my sister in law is an SLP for the school district. At that point he probably won’t need physical therapy anymore, but since developmental delays are likely I’m sure we’ll continue some therapies.

  2. This is horrible, but I’m glad to hear I don’t have the only baby who seems to smile more for Daddy and the therapist (in my case it’s, of course, my therapist). God, I have such low self esteem these days. Blaaaghh.

    Also, I think Daniel’s a superstar. I’m glad you’re getting all this therapy, but it’s like he doesn’t even need it.

  3. Baby therapy stuff is so interesting! Our nanny’s mother is an occupational therapist who works with babies, primarily NICU graduates, on movement. So, our nanny and her mom have been doing all these exercises with Eliza since she was really little. I don’t know if that’s why she is so coordinated, and meeting physical milestones so early, but it is really neat to see them do all of the exercises.

  4. Wow, you’re lucky Daniel is so into it! For the first year Pacey cried through a LOT of his therapy appointments, and even pretended to sleep during some (seriously, as an infant he figured that out). Eventually he started loving it, probably when it stopped being quite so hard for him. It definitely paid off…his gross motor development is pretty close to right on track.

    It’s kind of making me giggle that a physical therapist would dress up in a short skirt to roll around with a babies 😉

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