We recently had the 6 month checkup at the Thomas Center for Down Syndrome. This time, we met with the large team. This included a Physical Therapist, Occupation Therapist, Speech Therapist, Nutritionist, and Pediatrician. Three of the team members were the same people we met at our first visit . The Physical Therapist and Nutritionist were new.
We started off in a therapy room. There were mats, rope, a highchair; the type of things you would use for physical and occupational therapy. The nurse told us we were meeting here because we were meeting with the large team. The therapists and nutritionist came in to meet with us. They checked her on several different areas of skills.
Rolling and Sitting
The therapists placed her on the mat and attempted to get her to roll. She did roll to her side several times and grabbed her feet repeatedly but would not roll back to front or front to back on her own. They also tried to get her to sit unassisted, and that went as well as the rolling did. She would just start to fold in half and go for her toes. It was a slow fold instead of a fall, so I was happy to see that because, to me, it looked like she was gaining more control of it.
They did not seem worried about it, but that it is something to watch. They suggested adding in physical therapy to her routine, alternating with our Hep Me Grow coaching appointments.
They used some play time to see how she is doing on the occupational skills. She was handing the toy back and forth between hands easily. She also used both hands to grab for things consistently.
It took Mary a little while to get comfortable around the team, but once she did she did not stop. She was babbling and blowing raspberries constantly. She had a lot to say and wanted to be sure they knew it. The speech therapist seemed happy to see that.
Respond to voice
They also checked to see how she responded to her name being called or other sounds. This showed me the importance of calling her by her name. We were not consistent in using her name every time, sometimes calling her “baby girl”. We have become a lot more consistent since the appointment. She did not respond to her name and took awhile to respond to the bell sound. There was concern with this development.
In the room, they had a highchair set up already. We told them that she has not been a fan f fruits or baby cereal, so they gate vegetables a try and she liked it! At one point, she even grabbed the spoon to get more and accidentally choked on it. They were happy to see her enthusiasm for food and told us to feed her at least a few bites every day. Her nutrition is still going to come from the bottle, but we want to introduce her to more.
After we were done with the therapy room, we went back to the same room from our last visit where we met with the pediatrician. Overall, she was very pleased with Mary’s health. She did put in a referral for an audiology checkup and a thyroid test since she was now 6 months. We were able to get the thyroid test done right then. There is a group there that helps with children who need to get blood draws. They have several things to help distract the child while the people do what they need. They had this large cylindrical tube with water, bubbles, fake fish, and changing color lights. They also had these lights up color tubes that reminded me of fioptic cables. They did a great job distracting Mary as they searched for a vein and drew the blood needed for the thyroid test (results all came back normal!).
The audiology checkup is coming up. They had an issue getting her hearing tested when she was born so I am a little worried about this time. Though we do know that she responds to noise because she always responds to her brother, even when she is ignoring us! Hopefully we will get good news there.