Tuesday, April 27, 2010

vision improving!

I took Katie in for her yearly eye appointment and her vision has actually improved!  Her new prescription is not as strong, and the doctor said that Katie has improved a lot as far as tracking objects and convergence.  Convergence insuffiiency is a disorder that interferes with a person's ability to see, read, learn, and work at near (close distances). 

We went to an eye doctor here in Phoenix a few years ago when Katie was about two because Katie's eyes would turn in occasionally (one or the other, not both at the same time).  He suggested waiting on glasses and when I told this to my aunt in Tucson, I think her blood pressure must have shot through the roof!  At the time she worked for "Vision Now" in Tucson.  Vision Now does vision therapy - which is much more than just a regular eye exam.  "Vision therapy is a type of physical therapy for the eyes and brain -- is a highly effective non-surgical treatment for many common visual problems such as lazy eye, crossed eyes, double vision, convergence insufficiency and some reading and learning disabilities. Many patients who have been told, "it's too late," or "you'll have to learn to live with it" have benefited from vision therapy."

 They deal a lot with kids and maybe adults too who have reading problems - and it is a little known secret really, this vision therapy -that needs to get out.  Vision therapy is important because it not only looks to see if a person can read the chart on the wall, it also looks at how a person sees and comprehends the information.  Does the person see the words jumping around on the page as he reads and think that is how everyone sees a page?  Vision therapy helped my 7th grade cousin go from a 3rd grade reading level to the 7th grade reading level in 7 months, and that is why my aunt got involved.  Here is a link  to the Vision Now website for more information:

Okay, that is my promo about the importance of vision therapy.  Who knows, Katie may need it in the future when she is able to read - I'm just thankful I know about it!  And I hope I might help someone else to know about it!

And so thankful for my aunt and those doctors who got Katie and I to Tucson so that Katie could have a very thorough check-up and get some glasses that are not only extremely cute, but help her immensely!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Core Strength

 I have been using this ball with Katie since she was about a year old.  One exercise I did with her back then and for a few years was to set her on it on her stomach, and roll her a little bit to the left, then a little bit to the right, and she would automatically adjust herself - which helps to strengthen her core muscles.

We got this out the other day with the occupational therapist and she put Katie on it on her stomach, and Katie immediately rolled herself up to this sitting position. Barbara the therapist was thrilled to see her do this, and so easily.

Also noticing some changes in Katie were my dad and stepmom who came to visit us recently, it had been eight months since they had seen us.  They both could not get over the changes they saw in Katie, commenting on her focus being so much better and how much more stable and alert she is.  When they were leaving to go home, my dad said something like, "I feel really good leaving, knowing how much she has progressed in such a short time".

Friday, April 16, 2010

Crab crawl

Katie still gets excited to walk around the house (with us holding her hands) even though she has a long way to go before she will be walking on her own.  GOOD NEWS!  I am so excited to say that Katie just got approved for a summer program where she will get 3 hours of physical therapy a day for 6 weeks!  Right now we get one hour a week - so I am hoping this will get her walking!  She seems to have the strength to walk, but her coordination and balance are off, and they will work on all of that.

Usually before walking comes crawling, and sometimes it doesn't come at all.  I have learned that crawling is very important, "because of the use of alternating sides of the body (e.g., right arm and left leg, then vica versa), there is increase communication between the two sides of the brain thus enhancing learning and coordination.  Another very significant aspect of crawling involves the integration of sensory input. Crawling provides the brain with what is quite possibly the best integrated sensory input that a child ever receives."  (taken off the internet).

So here is Katie doing her "crab crawl" as her geneticist calls it - she's getting there, but I have not seen anything resembling a typical crawl out of her yet.

 Katie crawling

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pincer grasp

Taken off the internet: "Fine motor coordination of the hand progresses in a definite pattern. At 6-7 months the hand is used as a rake and objects are raked into the palm with the fingers. At 8-9 months the thumb and the radial fingers are used to grasp an object and smaller objects are picked up.  At 10-12 months, the fine pincer grasp is developed. This enables an infant to pick up a small object between the distal thumb and index finger."

The pincer grasp is something we have been working with Katie on for years. We use a few different strategies and one of them is at breakfast, I put Lucky Charms cereal on her highchair tray while I get her breakfast ready.  Because they are so small and she only wants the marshmallowy ones, she tends to use a pincer grasp most of the time (probably for the past year).  However, this is not consistent with other foods and objects, and she still uses her whole hand sometimes to pick other things up. 

So, in the last two days Katie keeps putting her hands in the air with a pincer grasp, not grasping at anything at all.  Maybe she is telling us, "Look, I can do this, and I don't need to be bribed by that leprechaun cereal!"

Here are a few pictures of her pincing her fingers in the air.  I know her occupational therapists will be thrilled!  And maybe a little baffled?  

Friday, April 2, 2010