Thursday, December 23, 2010


I realized that amidst all the chemo and getting sick (and not being in the mood to blog or do much of anything other than wish for sleep) that I haven't updated you lately on Averi's therapy sessions.  She is doing really well.  I sometimes wonder how much therapy really helps, since there is no way to know what would happen without it, but at least it gets her out of her bed and gives her some new faces to look/cry at.

Physical Therapy is always a process and not always super fun, but it is the most needed.  Averi recently learned how to turn herself in a circle on her butt, using her feet as leverage.  This is wonderful because it is getting her to move more and it is teaching her that she can use her body to get to what she wants.

She has also started leaning forward and putting weight on her arms while she is sitting.  This includes putting weight on one arm while reaching the other arm to get a toy.  I know it sounds silly, especially for a 19 month old, but it is such a big deal!  She hates using her arms or having to bear weight on any part of her body.  Unfortunately, she won't lean on her arm to side sit, which would help her transition into laying down, but instead combines her new tricks and turns until she's facing what she wants and then reaches for it.

Last week they decided to get leg braces to help her with standing up.  They cover her entire legs and keep her from bending her knees when being supported in a standing position.  This allows us to push her hips forward into the correct position without having to grow extra arms to keep her legs straight as well.  She hasn't decided that she doesn't like them yet and even stood at a chair for 10 minutes while the therapist supported her.  She still refuses to put her feet down on her own so I'm hoping this will help teach her to put some weight on her feet and legs.
(She was yelling at me in both pictures, thus the open mouth and angry eyes.)

Tummy time is still nonexistent and the PT brings something different to try with her every time she comes.  She will occasionally tolerate it for a little while but only when it is forced on her.  If she has to roll onto her tummy to get a toy, then it is too far away and not worth getting (yet she sleeps on her tummy).  I keep reminding myself that if she were mobile right now things would be much more difficult but it's still hard to swallow the fact that she's no where near crawling.

Occupational Therapy is much more fun.  Averi loves to draw scribbles with crayons on paper or play with her magnadoodle.  She is awesome at putting cookies in a slot, taking rings on and off a pole, and nesting cups inside each other.  She's really close to stacking blocks and not so close to putting large puzzle pieces back in the right spot.

Speech Therapy has really blossomed lately.  We are mostly working on signing right now and Averi is reluctantly responding to it.  I have to admit that her first sign was Dad, right before she was admitted this last time.  Dan's pretty proud of that, even if she only does it when he tells her to and then shows it to her.

Today she was showing off at therapy and signed 'more' several times (when a toy she was playing with was taken away and she was forced to ask to play with it some more) and 'please'.  She even signed 'all done' for the first time when it was time for the therapist to go.  All of her signs still need some interpreting and definitely need some motivation (she only does them when being shown and asked) and I'm not so sure that she understands what any of them really mean, but it is definitely a stepping stone.

Therapies or not, Averi is making progress, but always at her own pace.  Recently she looks older to me and I finally decided that it's because I can see her neck.  She's losing her baby-ness and becoming a toddler (minus the toddling).  I am so proud of her!


Simply, Sarah said...

Anthony has been attending therapy as well, during the duration of all his treatment this past year. The therapists take it easy when he isn't feeling great, but are wonderful at helping him excel when he hasn't had chemo in a while.
His first signed word was monkey. He does a lot of animals, but won't do mom and dad with intent yet! He will do them, but not relating them to us.
So, my husband would be jealous about Averi's firt word.

Anonymous said...

Sign language is a wonderful thing. My daugthers both have worked with their kids on sign language. Even babies learn more than you think. It just takes consistancy. She will be communicating more in no time.

Tina said...

I love her angry face and that she was yelling at you while taking the picture. When I read your posts I feel so far away. I hope you can feel my love for you even from way over here?