Down Syndrome Center Visit – 1 year Follow-up

We just had our one year follow up at the Down syndrome center. I know, Mary is nearly 14 months but when a member of the team is on maternity leave, things get postponed a bit.

Pediatrcian:
We started our visit off with the pediatrician. Overall, she is a healthy girl. She is having ear tubes put in next month (we have had 2 ENT visits and a persistent ear infection plus fluid in the ear canal so tubes were recommended, and we agreed).
They also did a blood draw to check her thyroid levels. While the results were not bad, they do want to retest her in 6 months to keep an eye on it. I am hoping I do not end up needing to add a tab for Endocrinology to her Medical Binder!

PT:
Mary is transitioning to sitting, crawling, pulling herself to standing, and walking along things pretty consistently. We discussed a goal with them of having Mary walk by 18 months and they think that she is well on her way to meeting that. However, they are not too thrilled with the way she is transitioning to sitting or crawling. For sitting, she will swing her legs around from behind her to in front of her and then push herself up to sit. Not too great for the hips. For crawling, she tends to use a foot and a knee instead of both knees. They put her in a pair of Hip Helpers and because of the connected leg holes, she transitioned to sitting properly AND crawled using both knees (though she tried using that foot). She didn’t throw a fit either. She kept trying to figure out why she couldn’t move her legs like she wanted and adjusted what she was doing so she could sit and crawl. They think a few weeks of use will help correct it and strengthen her hip muscles.

OT:
She is grabbing things easily and letting go when told to. She is turning pages in books, though not as intentionally as they hoped. One thing they really want us to work on is pointing to things that we name “Can you point to Mama? Can you point to the dog?” etc. They also want her to release things without being told. She does do this, but I think she refused then because NEW TOYS and she didn’t want anyone taking them. I think I will work on her handing things to me which will help her learn to let it go intentionally without being scolded. They asked for a follow up in 2 months to see how she is progressing.

Speech:
Mary has several words she says “Mama, Dada, Buh-buh (Brother), ba-ba (Bottle). She will also babble a lot when she gets comfortable around people. She is recognizing signs we do, though not signing back yet. It does not stop us from using them though! We have noticed her using inflections in her voice where it sometimes sounds like she is scolding us for something. They did not seem too concerned, but do want a follow up visit in 2 months.

Nutrition:
Mary’s weight gain has slowed recently. In 2 weeks she dropped nearly a pound, though we think this due to the cold that has been circling through the house and introducing solid foods. As far as foods go, she is all for it. She sees food and her mouth opens wide for it. Potatoes are her favorite currently. They want us to watch her weight and make sure she gets plenty of nutritional food and milk.

Overall, I feel things went well. I am glad that they feel our 18 month goal is doable and that nothing is so severely delayed to be considered worrisome. Now we need to get ready for more follow up appointments next month and a minor surgery. Sometimes it does get overwhelming, but we keep going because giving up is not an option.

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