Saturday, October 6

A Long Over Due Update on Drew

Life with two young children is quite busy these days. Add in a full time job and a lot of family activities and my blogging somehow falls behind. With that I have failed to update all of the exciting things that have been going on with Drew! Here are some things he has been doing over the past few weeks:
  • Drew has been concentrating hard on his motor skills and has made tremendous progress in the past week. He can climb the stairs like a champ. He is all business and can get to the top of the stairs in about two seconds flat. He is also starting to walk with his walking toy and does well putting one foot in front of the other. I can not help but notice that he struggles with his balance. I feel that he has some underlying vestibular issues as a result of his hearing loss that are affecting him. I am concerned that he is not yet standing on his own, but I am thrilled with how hard he is working on his motor skills. I spoke to the pediatrician about this at Drew's one year appointment and he did not seem overly concerned about the fact that Drew can not stand on his own. He said that he will reevaluate him at his 15 months appointment and go from there.
  • Another area of concern has been Drew's ability to chew solid foods. Whenever he put solids in his mouth he would chew for a little bit and then when the food would get to the back of his throat he would gag and act like he was choking to death. Seriously, it has been very scary at times. In the last week he has begun to really chew up food and swallow it without choking! In fact the last four nights he has eaten some solid food and not had one choking moment. It seems like such a minor thing but it makes life so much easier! When he can chew on a biter biscuit at a restaurant for 30 minutes it makes our dinner much nicer. I think now we will move at a fast pace with him transitioning from jarred baby food to solid table food.
  • Drew's babbling is expanding daily. He has added the /s/ sound to his repertoire. He also will try to "moo" like a cow when we work with him on animal sounds. We are working on body parts right now, using baby dolls, Mr. Potato head and ourselves as models of the spacialilty of various body parts, like eyes, ears, mouth, etc. Drew is very interested in mouths and will always touch mine when I am talking to him. I'll be interested to see if this is the first body part he identifies on his own.
  • Drew understands the words "up" and "eat". It is very exciting to know that he is actually able to hear and comprehend different concepts. If I ask him, "Drew, do you want up?" he will put his arms in the air and wait to be picked up. I love that Drew has made me learn to appreciate little things like this. I am now practicing little things with him like, "How big is Drew?" and then throwing his arms in the air while saying, "So Big!" He has so much fun with that one.
  • Giving kisses is Drew's favorite pass time now and Drew's Dad and I are loving it! I got three kisses (and by kiss I mean he leans in with an open mouth and slobbers all over you!) when he woke from his afternoon nap and Drew's Dad got eight kisses before putting him to bed tonight. Drew does not make the kissing noise while giving the kisses, but he will make it in response to our kissing him.
  • Drew received a lot of "learning to listen" toys for his birthday and we are loving all of them! He has a house, barn, trucks, zoo and lots of new books. We use them to practice things like open and close doors, animal sounds, and one step directions like "Put the dog in the car". Drew is very active now and really likes doing these activities (except when he is supposed to do them at therapy! He clams up at all of his therapy appointments.)

Drew continues to amaze us daily with the progress he is making. October 26th will mark the one year anniversary of finding out that Drew is deaf. This month has been hard for me as I reflect back on my emotions during this time last year. I will share more on that later. It's time to watch the Buckeyes vs. the Boilermakers. Go Bucks!


Laurie said...

Wow! This is so awesome! Drew sounds like he is making GREAT progress! I'm so happy for you all. He also seems like he is doing some things that babies do anyway! Aw! Gotta love those wet kisses!

Thanks for the update. It it wasn't for the miracle of technology, Drew would not be doing all this. Hope his balance issues straighten out.

Kristen said...

Drew is so similar to Kevin! Just a few months behind him is all. Kevin did have some balance issues, but they have all gone away at 18 months. He didn't start really walking on his own until about 13 months and even then it was a very 'out of control' walk. He also had chewing issues. They have gone away, but it did make eating and mealtime very difficult. I think everything is related to hearing loss.
Kevin's first failed test was the 26th, but his official diagnosis was on Nov. 2. Oct. 26 was a hard day, though, becasue there was NO response to hte behavioral test. It was just confirmed on Nov. 2 with the sedated ABR.
Congrats to Drew on his progress. What troopers these kids are!!!
p.s. We lived is West Lafayette for 2 years going to Purdue grad school... Boiler up!!! :)

Amy said...

Don't worry-- he'll stand and walk. Oliver (deaf, bilateral implants) is still not standing (at 16 months) but Elliot (also deaf, implants) walked at 19 months (and it took a long time for it to be a stable walk that he could use on an uneven surface, such as a playground or grass)! You're right, it's vestibular. There's not a lot you could be doing about it, other than trying to speed it up with PT. But in my experience, kids are driven to learn motor skills and I don't even think Elliot's PT even really sped up the process. Of course, in your daily life you are encouraging gradual strengthening of those muscles just with the typical kid activities (such as stair climbing)!

Do you know the cause of Drew's deafness? Can't recall if you've mentioned it. You probably know that vestibular issues and deafness are sometimes caused by Usher syndrome. I thought I'd mention that in case someone else reads this discussion and doesn't know...

Drew's Mom said...

Amy: We did learn the cause of Drew's deafness. He is a Connexin 26 baby. We learned about Usher's Syndrome early on, so we were thankful that we could rule this out.