This week Caelan had three different therapy sessions.
On Monday Caelan's Blind-Low-Vision Therapist (BLV) came to the house. This week she brought stacking cups that he loves. Apparently she found them at IKEA so I may be making a trip out there, although she did lend them to us so I may not have too! Caelan is so proud of himself when he stacks them up high and enjoys knocking them down too (of course). He's equally as proud when he's able to fit them all one inside the other. He was great at problem solving and really impressed Mommy with this task. We also played with putting lots of different objects in different containers; small piece of paper, crayons, blocks, balls onto a paper plate, metal dish, or plastic container. He was a pro! We have homework. First, is to give Caelan specific choices between two objects since he's such an avid pointer. Second is to get him to identify himself as Caelan. This can be done by pointing to himself on the chest, in a photo or in the mirror when you ask "where is Caelan?"
On Wednesday we went to OCTC for Occupational Therapy (OT). This is always so much fun for Caelan. He was anxious to get in the room and check out what cool stuff they were going to be doing. There was a pin wheel attached to a switch that he had to push to make it spin (obviously just blowing it is impossible with Caelan's trach). He had great fun with this while we worked him into a kneeling position. Next we painted with big marshmallows and berry applesauce... what an experience!! He did really well, dipping the marshmallows in the applesauce and once the marshmallows were saturated he would squeeze them through his fingers!! He's come so far in this respect, because it wasn't long ago that he wouldn't even touch applesauce. I'm not sure if any went in his mouth but it definitely was in his hair!!
Today we had our first visit with Caelan's Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) at OCTC. Caelan's always a little apprehensive when it comes to new people but this went really well. Caelan was already familiar with the room since it's the same one that we're usually in for OT. Even better though, the big bucket of toys that the therapists bring to these sessions was already emptied out on the mat. Toys for him to play with and he didn't have to do anything to get them!!! This was more of an assessment, which basically meant lots and lots of questions for Mom. "Does he understand the word no?" How does he get your attention?" "Does he smile or laugh?" "Will he give you something when you ask for it, if he wants to?" "How many signs can he do?" "How many does he understand?" "Does he ever get frustrated when trying to communicate?" "What does he do when he gets frustrated?"
This went on for an hour and the entire time Caelan just went from toy to toy absolutely thrilled. He even started pulling himself up to a kneeling position all by himself - on the very bench that OT was trying to get him to kneel at yesterday! He was so proud of himself. He'd sit back and look at us all with this big grin and give himself a cheer!!
I’m excited to see what SLP will bring to our mix of therapy sessions. It looks like we’re going to try getting Caelan to start stringing two signs together. For example, adding a verb to a noun: throw ball. How? I don’t know. I haven’t specifically taught him any signs by manipulating his hands. His signing vocabulary is just what he’s picked up on his own from our example. To date Caelan can sign: bye, cow, dog, cat, where, what, hat, shoes, train, car, up, yes, no, throw, ball. I must clarify though. Just because Caelan can make, and has made, these signs repeatedly doesn’t mean he always does and never will he when you want him too!!! Should be interesting…