Thursday, July 24, 2008

Speech therapy and feeding stuff...

We had speech therapy today. That went great. I have been using the PECS and Harlie seems to be doing well with it. The biggest challenge is ME and fitting it into our day. It seems that there's just never enough time... But, that's certainly nothing new, and it's something I just have to make happen. Harlie's doing great with learning new words and building her vocabulary. Now we have to work on teaching her to put all the words together in sentences. So, instead of her just signing "book", we have to teach her to say "I want a book". I think she's ready for it.

Oh, last night after dinner, Harlie started to clear the plates with Murphy (still cracks me up) and I passed her a bowl of broccoli. She looked at it and then did the sign for "grass". It is so funny how kids look at things. I suppose broccoli does kind of look like grass.

Yesterday we had a meeting with our occupational therapist, Allison. Unfortunately, she is transitioning out of "natural environment" and she will be in the feeding clinic full-time (which means she won't be coming to our house for feeding therapy anymore). Through our county's Early Intervention Program, the therapists come to our home for the first 3 years of Harlie's life. After she turns 3, I will have to take her to their respective clinics for therapies.

Anyway, luckily for us, our speech therapist, Beth will be taking over Harlie's feeding therapy. Which is great because Harlie already knows her and is comfortable with her. So, after the wires come out, Beth will start working with her to see what she can do. We won't be able to just start giving her food or liquids. It isn't that easy, unfortunately. Harlie will have to have a swallow study to make sure that if she can swallow, that it is safe and she doesn't aspirate (food/liquids go into her lungs instead of down her esophagus). This will be very tricky, because odds are she won't swallow for the study considering she hasn't in such a long time. Because of her lack of swallowing and eating, all those muscles that make that happen are very weak, which makes aspiration more likely. Anyway, this is something that I knew would be very difficult and I am prepared. But, I am also very hopeful in that she seems to want to, so we are hoping that makes a positive difference.

After speech therapy, I went to get a haircut. My last haircut was in January. Yes, January. Seriously people, that's pathetic. I have never gone that long without a haircut before. Geez, I really must start to make more time for myself...

After dinner we took the kids outside so Murphy could ride his bike (he actually likes to now, which is fabulous) and so Harlie could walk a little in the street. I am SO thrilled! She walked the farthest down the street than she ever has!!! By three houses! And I really think she would have walked farther, but she was distracted by Murphy and Tom riding their bikes back toward the house. Then after we got back to the house, she wanted on Murphy's bike. That girl. Walking is such a challenge for her but she wants to ride a bike! I finally went on ahead and put her on it and walked holding her safely on it, and she loved it. Way more dangerous than walking independently! Oh well.

Oh, and Kristen, thanks for the kick in the butt to get some photos up. I just uploaded a few - so more will be coming. Harlie is happier than she looks in the photos of her outside. Her eyes are incredibly sensitive to the sunlight, even in the shade, so she always looks like she's miserable outside.

One last thing, I am working on a project and I am going to be asking for your input. Hopefully I'll be able to post the details on Monday. So, keep a look out!

As always, thank you for your support!!!

Take care,
Christy

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