A Year Later


~ May 2011 ~

It was about this time last year that we had begun what would turn out to be a nightmarish process of developing Finn’s first IEP.  We submitted him to various assessments (though we declined most that we were urged to submit him to).  Although I don’t think the school district obtained an entirely clear or accurate picture of Finn, the process did force us to sort of zero in on where he was developmentally.  In a nutshell:

~ He was still almost entirely on pureed foods.  He seemed to have sensory issues with solids (i.e., a very active gag reflex), as well as trouble coordinating the actions of chewing and swallowing.

~ He had self-weaned from breastfeeding, but was not drinking from a sippy or any other type of cup.  The only fluids he got were what I managed to mix in with his food, and it was a constant source of worry for me that he wasn’t getting enough fluids.

~ His spoken vocabulary at the time consisted of:

Hi

Bye

Okay

Uh oh

Lilah

I love you

Book

Mama

Dada

Mom

Dad

Diaper

Night night

Row row [as in, your boat]

Quiet

Hey

***

A year later, he’s completely on solids; it actually seemed to click with him last June when Michael and I went to San Francisco for a weekend, leaving the kids in the care of our most awesome babysitter, Alycia (who also took all those great pregnancy photos for me a couple weeks ago – the girl is multi-talented).  So it’s been a while, but when I think about it, I kind of marvel at the fact that it’s really been less than a year that he’s been eating the same table foods as the rest of the family.

He mastered a sippy cup ages ago, as well, so his fluid intake stopped being a concern many moons ago, thank goodness.  He can drink from an open cup with help, and he hasn’t yet mastered straw-drinking (but I haven’t pushed it very hard).

In addition to the word list above, he’s added:

Joey

Kevin

Daisy

Annabelle

Scout [and he did say Twinkle when we still had her]

Mommy

Daddy

Up

Down

Out

Stop

No

Eat

Lunch

Milk

Drink

Water

Tubby [what we call a bath]

Shoes

Doggy

Snack

Cookie

Please

Ball

Potty

Yuck

Phrases:

Shoes on

Go outside

Watch TV

Bless you

Thanks, ______ [insert name]

Come on, _______ [insert name]

There might be a few more, but these are the ones that come to mind.  And it’s true that most of these are approximations; it would probably be difficult for anyone who doesn’t spend a great deal of time with him to make out what he’s saying.

As far as receptive language, he seems to understand a lot more than he’s able to communicate.  I see this mostly in his ability to follow multi-step instructions; for instance, if I say “Finn, pick up your toys and put them away,” he will.  If I say, “Let’s go to the bathroom to brush your teeth,” he goes into the bathroom and opens the cabinet where his toothbrush is.  And so forth.

No, it’s not as if we’re carrying on conversations, but there is definitely meaningful communication going on, and there is definite forward progress, and that’s enough for me.

~ April 2012 ~

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6 Comments on “A Year Later”

  1. Caryl Becker Phillips
    April 30, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    And most importantly, he a one happy little Morguess. Well most of the time anyway! Oh wait, kids with Ds are happy all the time. I forgot! HA HA HA HEE HEE HEE OH I make me laugh.

  2. Holly F.
    April 30, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    Congrats on your many achievements Finn, you are too cute for words! (Eating table foods was a big achievement in our house too….ahhh good times. 😉

  3. ET
    April 30, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

    Lisa I love it when you post on your blog about Finn…I actually hope for those posts! I have learned so much from you and your beautiful son. Your pictures are also wonderful and say so much.

  4. Cheryl Tierney Kinne
    May 2, 2012 at 3:26 am #

    He is such a cutie. Can I ask a question regarding the eating/drinking? I’m kind of there right now with my little guy. He is 23 months. He eats mostly things I puree or that type of texture. Also, he is still breastfeeding, but not enough. I stress a lot about fluid intake, he’ll drink some from straw cups. Anyway, just wondering if you did something special or it just progressed on its own. Thanks!

    • Lisa
      May 2, 2012 at 3:49 am #

      Cheryl, I wish I had a magic bullet answer for you. In Finn’s case, as far as the eating solids, I think it really took taking Mommy and Daddy out of the picture for a couple of days. My husband and I had gone away for the weekend and left the kids in the care of a long-time babysitter (who just happens to seem to have the magic touch with all of our kids). I left plenty of purees for him to eat, but she just decided that he was going to eat what all the other kids were eating, and he did. When we got back from our weekend in San Francisco and she told us that he had been willingly eating solids all weekend, we never looked back – I never offered purees after that. As far as drinking, like I said, he still hasn’t mastered straw drinking, and he’s almost 4. I think that, like with most other things, with perseverance on my part, I’ll be able to get him to do it eventually; I just haven’t really pushed it. With sippy cups, I had to try several different kinds, and found that he did/does best on the ones that don’t have a raised spout (we use these: http://www.target.com/p/Gerber-Graduates-Learning-System-Hard-Spout-Sippy-Cup-2pk/-/A-13590837). I started out by not using the stopper that makes it spill-proof, just so he could learn that by tipping the cup, something would come out. After he mastered that, then I started using the spill-proof stopper inside, and it took him a short while to figure out that now he actually had to suck to get the drink to come out (you would think that it would be second nature to any baby that breastfed for a good length of time, but that’s not the case, apparently). It was a process, but he’s completely mastered it now.

      I hope this helps! Just remember, he WILL get it eventually.

      • Cheryl Tierney Kinne
        May 3, 2012 at 3:29 am #

        thanks Lisa, I try not to worry too much, but that’s hard sometimes. At least it seems common. I appreciate your blog, and enjoy reading about your family and your opinions, thanks!

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