Monday, November 24, 2008

Letting Go

Recently Leah has been getting a bit more adventurous in her mobility. She is doing awesome cruising around and walking with her push toys. She LOVES to walk holding our hands!

While in standing she has started to let go a bit more. She was originally letting go and plopping on her butt. Now, she will let go and stand for about 30 seconds. She thinks it's the funniest thing ever!

Today, she even got to standing by herself! I'm sure it was sort of a fluke, but I'm also sure I'm going to start seeing it more and more. It was very exciting!

I'm trying to not think too much about walking soon, but I'd like to think we are not too far off!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Sunday, November 16, 2008


Leah's language has really taken off lately! She has between 6-8 words that she says on a consistent basis. Most of these words are "B" sounding words;ball, bubbles, Bar(for Barney--ekk!), Abba(what she calls her Daddy). Well, she has started to just babble and talk about everything. She says "Hi" when you pick up the phone and she'll also say "who's there"! So, cute!

Whenever Leah has therapy, I'm always telling her which therapist we are seeing and if we are going to the clinic or they are coming here. We see Lisa, Leah's OT, twice a week--so I feel like I'm always talking about her. I'll say, we are going to go see Lisa, or guess who's coming Lisa! Leah always looks around for Lisa, whenever I say her name. So, last week we had OT here and I was telling Leah that Lisa was coming...well, Leah looks at me and goes YEEE-TAHHHH. It was clear as day that she had said Lisa. The rest of the morning she crawled around saying yee-tah!! It was terribly cute!! I STILL can't believe she says Lisa before she says Mama!

I've decided she's waiting to make saying Mama extra special--I think she's going to walk and say Mama on the same day! Wouldn't that be awesome!?!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Physiatrist Appointment

We are back from our appointment! It went perfectly, I couldn't have asked for anything better.

She was very pleased with what Leah was doing and didn't even need to see the videos that I brought. We put Leah's bi-valved cast on there and she saw right away Leah used her hand. It was great.

Leah's OT and PT wrote her detailed emails, so I didn't have to tell her much! Dr. Gaebler did say she agrees with Nadine (PT) that we need to get a brace on her right away. She wrote a script so we can move forward with that. She said she thinks a hinged AFO would be the best fit for Leah right now. She said it would help the most with her hyper extension. She also said that we might want to get her something different for at night, she said she will discuss with Nadine and have her get back to me.

This is the brace we are most likely getting, except it will be hinged. (If you checked earlier, yes it is different, I re-read the script and realized she wanted the DAFO 3.5 for Leah.)It freaks me out a bit, but then I think about how little Leah is and how little the brace will be and I kind of think it will be cute! I mean, listen, no one wants there child to wear a brace or need something like it, but if she going to have to have one then I might as well embrace it!

She was very pleased with the bi-valved cast. The schedule that Lisa (OT) and I made was that it would be on one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon. Obviously, if I'm feeling up to more to do it! Dr. Gaebler insisted that one hour at a time is too long, because most kids get frustrated. Well, I politely corrected her and told her that one hour is not too long for Leah. She could care less if the cast is on. So, she told me that and hour is great then!

We talked a bit about the MMR--which she is all for and about a few other things...all good! The last thing she said to us is that her hope is that the next time we see her (in April) that Leah is walking. I told her I'm pretty sure she will be!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Lots O' Videos!

This Thursday, we are going to see Leah's physiatrist (rehab doctor). I'm really looking forward to seeing her again and I'm even more looking forward to showing off Leah's progress! I have my list of questions that I have been working on and I'm armed and ready to discuss some pretty serious things..i.e. The b-b-brace, The MMR and CIMT among other things. Today in OT, I decided to take videos of Leah with her bi-valved cast on. I took a bunch of videos, because I know once we are at the appointment and I'm talking about how Leah can do something, she won't do it. Of course she won't do it! Kids never "perform" when you want them too! It's like when we are in the grocery store, the check out lady always waves to Leah, and I say "Leah, can you say bye bye" (which she knows full well means to wave bye bye), but nooo...only when we are out the door long gone from the sales lady does she wave bye bye! So, we took videos and lots of them! I thought I would post them here too...

Video 1--Here Lisa (OT) was trying to show how Leah's range of motion has increased. You can see how she reaches up high to get the button! The toy is incredibly motivating for Leah and incredibly annoying for everyone else in the room! :)

Video 2-Here, you can see that she really wants to grab the puppies but just doesn't have the grasp yet. Lisa tried to place it in Leah's hand, but Leah is now having trouble closing her hand around objects. She's either very fisted or too relaxed--and she goes to both extremes in either of those positions. Also, at the end you can see that she got silly and tried to use her mouth!

Video 3-Here you can see some focused movements in standing, but really she was much more interested in dancing!

Video 4-This video was taken at the end of our hour long session, you can tell that Leah wasn't into participating as much. She does manage to reach up to get the balls off of the mirror a couple times though.

To end our day today, Leah and I went to the produce store near our house. There is always a very friendly lady who works there and I always go to her lane. While in the lane she was talking to Leah and smiling at her. The sales lady in the next check out lane looked over and asked Leah for a high five. She was on Leah's left side, I know Leah knows how to do high fives with her right hand, but to my surprise she lifted lefty up and slapped her a high five! I think I yelled out a pretty loud cheer when she did that! The lady probably thought I was crazy! It's just amazing to me that without prompting, without restraint she thought to use lefty. It makes me so incredibly happy.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunny Days!

I've debated posting again this week, because I didn't want to get repetitive. My last few posts have been about CIMT not working out for us and the only thing I could think to post about was that.

So, I'll give a brief update--On Tuesday, Leah got the cast removed. It was the first time in this whole casting experience that she hadn't gotten out of it and had to have it cut off. Well, from the first sound of the "saw" she freaked out and was screaming. It took about 10 minutes total to get the cast off, which meant 10 minutes of a screaming 13 month old. It was intense. Anyway, the cast came off and we decided to bi-valve this one as well. Now, I have two bi-valved casts...I like the first one better, it's much easier to put on. We have decided to try fully casting again when Leah is 18 months old. I feel really good about this. Ok, I'm getting repetitive again, but I just really want to emphasize the fact that overall this was a GOOD experience. The things Leah is doing with her effected hand are amazing! I am constantly impressed when watching her, her overall movements are thought-out and focused. It's wonderful to watch the carry-over, when the cast is removed, at the end of the day--that's the most important part, that she is making the connections. Leah has gone from having virtually no use and absolutely no awareness of her left hand to incorporating it and using it about 50% of the time. It's really wonderful.

In other news, this week the weather was fantastic! 70's in November!! Needless to say, Leah and I were out everyday soaking up the sunny days!! It was gorgeous out. It has since turned cold and wintery...:(

Here are some pictures from playing outside...

Monday, November 3, 2008


Today, Leah was recasted...while the casting went quite smoothly, the cast that is on is not fitting right, again. This is our second casting specialist and our third time fully casting. It's officially not the right time for Leah to be fully casted. Our OT thinks it's because she is still so little, 13 months and 18(ish)lbs. Right now, Leah has the cast on, but we are pretty sure that tomorrow it will be taken off. It's come to a point where is it unsafe for her to have it on. She knows how to slip her little fingers out of it and then her hand will get caught--which could lead to pressure ulcers or loss of circulation. We don't want those things to happen, so, for now we will stick with the removable cast. We have been seeing really great results with it anyway. I am giving up hope of fully casting, for now. Hopefully we will re-visit it again in a couple months.

I still think Constraint Induced Movement Therapy is absolutely amazing and Leah has far surpassed our goal for her. Initially all we wanted CIMT to do was to increase awareness, she has not only increased her awareness but is also more actively using that hand. Today, for the very first time ever she grabbed a rice cake with her left hand, I mean seriously that is AMAZING--AH! SHE GRABBED THE RICE CAKE...A-MAZING!

With the rice cake in her hand...

Trying to get it in her mouth, she needs a little help turning her wrist.

Success! This rice cake is delicious!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Let's try this again!

Tomorrow we re-cast at 10:00am! I'm nervous about it but I love the result that we have been getting! Let's hope Leah doesn't get out of this one! She really is houdini, she has even learned how to get out of the removable cast--little stinker!! She also managed to rip off the knesio tape that was on the back of her knee, it didn't even last 24 hours! My silly girl! I'm hoping tomorrow goes smoothly and that the new casting specialist is quick and gets the cast on right!