Friday, June 25, 2010

After a 3 month Siesta...

It has been 3 months since I last posted on my blog. This is aprtly due to being completely hectic and also because I just needed a break. So much has happened so this may be a bit of a long ramble...

Bella's news

Bella has made some good progress in the last 3 months, especially in her gross motor skills. She is pulling herself up against couches and cruising along them. She has even let go with one hand and is cruising with one hand. She now climbs up onto the couch all by herself and knows how to turn around and come down off the couch by herself. I feel that she is very close to walking by herself and so do her therapists.

She is now completely off Phenobarbitone and has been for 6 months. Her Tegretol levels are quite low at the moment but she seems to be coping. We are going to do an overnight EEG soon just to double check everything is ok and then consider weaning her off either the Tegretol or Keppra. Bella managed to catch chickenpox which really worried me because I have not had her vaccinated against chickenpox. We started her on an antiviral immediatly because of her other issues and she coped fine! For a while I really doubted my decision not to vaccinate her but I think all of the work we have been doing on her immune system with the DAN diet really helped her get through it.

I have been a bit concerned about her fine motor and speech development. She has been making progress and is now reaching quite a few of the 18 month fine motor milestones which is really good. Her speech therapist has seen a big improvement in her choice making but I still often wonder how much she understands. Last night she really seemed to understand me when I asked her to put a block into a container and I felt like we had a breakthrough. I am looking into getting her an iPad with either Voice4U or Proloquo2Go which Caleigh has been doing so well with and which Nathan's Mom  has found so many other applications which can be used on it. The only problem is that it is not in South Africa yet and no one really knows when the iPad's will be released in South Africa. I think she will love the iPad and the teaching possibilities are endless...

Bella is really loving her horse riding and has settled in beautifully at Moms and Tots. I started taking Bella to Moms and Tots in February so she could start interacting with other children. We started in the baby class 12 - 18 months and she seemed to struggle with all the noise and sensory stimulations. I was about to stop going because I was worried about stressing her out but then something changed and she really loves it now and is really blossoming in teh class. She will be starting at the Moms and Tots school Plumtree next year in the 2 - 3 yr class for a few mornings a week. I think she is really going shine there with Haloise.

I went on an introductory HANDLE course for 2 days which is in my mind somewhat of a amix of brain gym and sensory intergration therapy. I think it is very powerful and would recommend any mom with a child with delays to look into it. I have been doing a lot of work on Bella's vestibular system via the HANDLE method and can see that she is more focussed and is 'stimming' less.





I took Max and Bella for their first photo shoot together and here are some of the pictures.
They were just so special and its great to have some pictures of the two of them together.

As you can see Max is very protective of his little sister and Bella adores her brother
  

We have also been a bit worried about Bella's eyes because she seems to have an intermittent squint and the Opthalmologist suggested that she may need surgery. Her vision is fine but every now and then she squints her right eye a bit. I am not sure I want to do something as invasive as eye surgery at this stage so am waiting to see what happens. I have noticed that since I have increased the dose of her Omega 3 oils her eye squints less and her eye contact has improved.

I really feel that her progress has been helped a huge amount by the DAN diet and biomedical interventions.








Max's news

Max has grown so much in the last few months and  some of the things he says and does astonish me.. He is just so clever and insightful. He is doing well at school and is a natural sportsman. From rugby, soccer, golf, tennis, swimming, fishing and bicycle riding he just gets it so easily and quickly.

For his birthday he got a fly flishing rod my dad and he learnt how to cast the rod so quickly. We went away to Doornkop and had a great time with my Dad and Louise














Max has been so excited for the World Cup soccer being held in South Africa. On the 9th of June Bafana Bafana paraded through the streets of Sandton and thousands of people came out to support them. The atmosphere was electric with thousands of Vuvuzela's making a huge noise. 
Max turned 5 on the 4th of June...I can hardly believe how quickly the time has flown. My baby boy is not such a baby anymore :(  I have been a bit distracted with Bella over the last 2 years so sometimes I feel like I have missed out on things with Max but I have made a strong resolution that it stops now!!

There is so much other news but some of it deserves a post on its own like our dear Aunt Gigi......................
Hopefully I will be able to find the words to write about this.

Grandpa has improved and is stronger than he was when I last posted. He is now out of hospital in San Sereno frail care. Its been a long road so far and will continue to be. In the meantime we are lucky to have Granny (aka MaGogo) staying with us for a while. Bella adores her and her I am sure that the time they spend together in the evening has helped Bella become part of the "in crowd' (able to put objects INTO a container)... Thanks Gran

Untill later....
Cath

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