Friday, April 24, 2009

Speech Therapy x3

Today we had yet another speech therapy consult to assess Rhys. The difference this time was that the therapist was with ECI and she came to our house. She came way back when we had the first ECI assessment, but we hadn't seen her since. I think she is technically an occupational therapist, but when babies are so young a lot of these things overlap.

I will admit I was skeptical, be honest and tell me what within the government ever seems to work as it should? But, out of the three different ST appointments we've had this was the only one I felt was worth a darn. I will even go so far as to say I was quite impressed and even pleased. She did exactly what I would think an ST should on the first meeting, assuming I'd have known how to articulate as much. She was quick, efficient, knowledgeable and respected Rhys and his quirks. There was no mention of his gagging or reflux except in matter of fact terms, and she certainly didn't bring up genetics testing and his ears being too low.

There was a bit of touching around his mouth to see how he reacted to things in his face. He did great! He smiled when she raked the teething toy across his lips. We then saw how well he sucked (on a finger). As we've been saying, he is capable of doing it and doing it well, but he doesn't do it consistently. We also tried the spoon, but he did his initial gag and pushed it away (he'd just had his bottle and wasn't hungry). At this point she is in agreement that it seemed his gagging might be his new way of telling us he doesn't want it. She said it was great that he liked his hands in his mouth (all the time!), his teething toys (which he is increasingly trying to hold on his own), teething biscuits, and how his jaw seemed to be working (flexibility). He is also able to move the tip of his tongue towards his cheek which is important to to move food around the mouth. Since Rhys has come home Cody and I have tried to make it a point to touch and kiss and rub on Rhys's face to try to prevent potential aversions since he had the tubes and is still on the cannula. She said he looked really good! The only thing he didn't seem to be doing was using his lips. Our homework is to use our finger or a baby toothbrush to stimulate his gums and lips and inner cheeks to try to get him to use his lips in addition to his tongue. Think of when you put a spoon in your mouth you close your lips around to sort of rake the food off. Rhys doesn't really do this. That is also the problem with his inefficient suck, he typically sucks without sealing his lips around the nipple.

As far as the bottle issue goes she basically said what Cody and I have thought all along, it isn't that big of a deal and we've done what we had to do. He won't be taking a bottle forever. So from here on out she will come about every two weeks just to see how he's doing and see if we need more instruction. She will also continue coming as Rhys transitions to sippy cups, straws, and table food.

We also had a play date today at the neighborhood playground. Rhys got to meet the beautiful Ellie, who was adorable, and thoughtful enough to offer to share her drink and the slide with Rhys. Too cute!

Today I am: 9 months, 1 week and 1 day old
Adjusted I am: 5 months, 2 weeks and 2 days old

1 comment:

Ellie Grace and Bennett said...

We had such a fantastic day with you guys yesterday! I can't wait for our "date" at the zoo this week!!!