Here he is with his Primary Therapist Andy, pushing him in the swing.
She sings to him while she swings him, and then when she stops, she encourages Joshua to communicate that he wants to go again by signing "More". The Auslan sign for more is tapping a clawed hand on your chest, but sometimes Joshua kicks his foot. Andy believes that when Joshua does this, he is also signing more. She says it is common for children to adapt signs and to even sign with their feet rather than their hands. I am not really sure... maybe he is just kicking his leg? LOL But both her and the Speech Therapist we saw last week believe the leg kicking is also a sign for more. Confusing isn't it. When your child doesn't communicate verbally, so you try and use sign language, and then they go and make things up as they go along. It is horrible to think that you might be missing attempts at communication because you are looking for one thing (the right thing) and they are doing something else to mean the same thing.
Here he is sitting in the swing. He wouldn't smile for me, he was busy making funny movements with his mouth.
Joshua also tried climbing up some foam stairs. I was shocked at how well he did. That is not to say he was able to climb up them, because he can't, but the attempt he made was the best I've ever seen. Andy helped him up by helping him to move his legs and I encouraged him from the top. Once he got up to me, he loved throwing himself off, for want of a better word, a padded table, and onto a huge (HUGE) Cushion. He did it several times, he thought it was so much fun, and he is doing so well at trying to crawl over things like this big cushion. It is not easy to move your body over something that is soft and squishy and unstable, it is a lot more work than just being on the flat ground, but he is getting so much better at it.
He was also really loving the tunnel today. You can see it in my picture below.
Just last week he needed help to get up and into it. And then once he got to the other side, he cried like he was too scared to try and get out on his own. Today, he was very bold with the tunnel. He easily got himself up into it and crawled (hopped) quickly through it and out the other end. He was going so fast he was face planting on the floor at the end. We had to try and show him to use strong arms on the floor to support himself in getting out instead of lunging straight out onto his face. He wanted to do it over and over again.
Then he was playing on the rocker. In addition to rocking, we were also using this to practice going from sitting to standing. He was doing great. Andy thinks we need to be working on sit to stand more. Although Joshua already pulls himself to a stand, he does so with very poor technique, and she thinks working on sit to stand more will help build up strength in being able to push up through the legs and ultimately help him learn to pull to a stand properly.
You can also see his little shoes here. We are still waiting to be fitted for AFOs, and in the mean time, I was told to buy him some high top canvas sneakers. We just got them a few days ago and Andy loved them, she thought they were great. Although they don't provide total ankle support or completely correct foot positioning (he tends to turn his feet outwards) they are very good at keeping his foot flat... and not having his toes curled into all sorts of positions, with his foot bending in half and trying to stand up on the top of his feet instead of the soles of his feet. So ultimately it has made standing practice easier because he doesn't require as much assistance in maintaining his feet when he is wearing the shoes.
I have just learned that the Physio is going to be meeting us at the hospital on Friday for his appointment to get the Dr to sign the referral for his AFOs. Man oh mighty it has taken a lot time for them to get this organised and I was planning to complain to his Doctor on Friday, so lucky some action is being taken. Apparently they also want him to have resting splints to wear at night time. Poor Bugger.
Here he is with Maggie the Physio under the climbing frame.
It is a bit of a problem solving activity for him to have to work out how to get through the openings to get in and get the balls and balloons. Initially it was also physically challenging to get over the bottom pipe and get in. We've been doing this for a few weeks now though and he has that part down now. He LOVES balloons and tries to munch on them.
Andy and Maggie are both scared of balloons popping, which I find quite amusing, so they are always worried he is going to pop them!
We also did a bit of play on the iPad. Popping bubbles, playing music, making fireworks and even a funny bird app. When you speak, the bird repeats back what you say and you can make it sing by pressing piano keys. You could also feed it food. And somehow make it blow up.. Yes.. the bird blows up into a puff of scorched feathers and smoke. Joshua was good at making that happen...
So this is a typical Monday at therapy for us. Today we also went to the hospital and had Joshua's first lot of hip X-rays done. I was a bit worried as I had been told before hand that it was best to have two people to hold him down, so I made Rod come along in case I needed him with him. As it turns out Rod held him by himself and it was fine. He didn't even cry, he just yelled a bit to let everyone know he was annoyed!
Afterwards he got his first sticker....
|"I Sat Still for my X-RAY" !|