After attending Jordan World Circus, thanks to the Starlight Children's Foundation, @ the Puyallup Fairgrounds...Summer LOVED the ponies, elephants, and especially the high flying acrobatic Ariel princesses (her favorite...she kept saying "printhess, ahh, ahh, ahh (like Ariel's singing) 3-12-2011

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Making progress...who knew?

Summer had a consult today with the feeding therapist at her Therapy Center. We haven't seen her since last October, so it was fun to hear what she pointed out. "Summer is a different kid!" :) That made me smile. So often, I wonder if I do enough, if all the therapy and crazy schedule is really making a difference, if Summer really is moving forward. Life, though busy, sometimes still seems to go in slow motion for her...everything is on her terms. Her feeding therapist is amazing....always upbeat and excited to see us. She feels like Summer has made HUGE leaps and bounds since she saw her last. Okay, I guess she has a point :)

6 months ago, Summer was still struggling with vomiting, both from a touchy gag reflex, and from constant ear infections. Any time she would get even the smallest tidbit of something on her tongue, she would gag and throw up. I couldn't even approach her mouth with a spoon, let alone put it on her lips or in her mouth, without her throwing up. She liked Cheetos, but would still gag if a tiny piece snuck it's way down her throat. Sometimes even something soft and mushy like mashed potatoes would offend her gag. This was so very felt like she could never get past it, and yet here we are!

As Summer demonstrated today, she can put things in her mouth (like chunks of Cheetos, bits of Bugles, and pieces of Pirate's Booty), suck on them, maybe bite off a piece, roll it around on her tongue with her mouth shut, and then get it out before it went too far and made her gag. She also discovered guacamole last Saturday :) A girl after my own heart! She even begged for more by opening her mouth...she actually swallowed bits of it too...all with me feeding her with a spoon! A couple of weeks ago, while in a movie, Summer was begging for my "brink". I figured, what the heck, she won't get any anyway, so I bent my Fruit Punch's straw over to her and let her try it out. I was surprised to see the fruit punch get up to her mouth and she swallowed it! Wow! I didn't even know she knew how to do that....pleasant surprise :) Of course, fruit punch is not on her menu, so for now she gets to "brink" water from a straw. She has also figured out how to blow bubbles into the cup.... very exciting progress! Her therapist told me there are some kids that just don't have the oral skills to eat enough to stay off the feeding tube...they will always need a little help. But, she feels Summer has those skills and great potential to make it work. She even asked if she could use the video tape she made of the session in her teaching. Way to go Summer!
While we were there, Summer stood up for about 2 minutes by herself...using only her hands on the toy kitchen to steady herself and my hands lightly next to her thighs. Woo hoo...her orthotic foot splints and leg braces and swim therapy has REALLY made a difference :) :) :)

So, now looking at all this information, I realize she really has made progress....and lots of it! Phew, I thought I was in trouble for slacking, haha!