Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Sit, Sit, Señor, Sit!

As of December 20, 2012

(Scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post for progress as of December 25.  It's a physical therapists/service providers/parents/family/friends' Christmas present from Orion, too.)

More, milk, finish are words he has expressed sparsely yet in increasing intervals.  The latest communication connection as discovered by Thomas is "pick me up".  Orion would create the handshape "5", stick his thumbs in his armpits and move his now folded arms to his side.

He can sit up independently although I think it is out of fear of falling over.  He has cried and seem to be stuck.  We are working on teaching him to hold his arms out front while rotating his trunk and hip to either side to end up in an all-four, knees and hands position.  From this, he could figure out how to crawl.

Orion has not been feeling well this week and has been crying whenever he is left alone.  He is calm when he is in contact with someone.

Anastasia made gingerbread dough as Orion explored kitchen gadgets.

Orion loves holes!
Two brothers share a chair and a moment together.
Look, Ma, I'm sitting by myself!  No chairs, hands, jumbo "L" braces (joking here)!
As of December 25, 2012

An all-time Orion sitting record took place today!  He sat alone for approximately 25-30 minutes despite us attempting to make him get himself down around the 20 minute mark.  He was happy the whole time, giggling, feeling Skyler move around and later feeling a radio play loudly on the loaner resonance board from TSBVI Deafblind Outreach.  The video clip here is just short of 2 minutes of the very same sitting event.  He's just going to do it again and again and one day he will figure out how to get himself down.  

He has been sitting solo from time to time but I just didn't have the presence of mind to record it until today.  I was very happy to let Orion demonstrate his skill to his grandparents (my parents) via videophone yesterday.  He showed the rest of the family today, including his visiting Grandna. What a delight all around and anytime!

Oh, yes, he's feeling much better.  Still prefers to be in touch with someone at all times.  I don't blame him one bit.

Joyeux Noel from the Withrows!

We visited a signing Santa at Barton Creek Square earlier this month.  I love how Orion is checking out Santa's big belt buckle.  Also, Orion loves breezes.  There was a fan pointed at Santa, keeping him cool and it amused Orion, too.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Joyous Inches

We almost gave away this desk when we were moving!
You can also see the improvised footrest.

Orion eats from these sectioned plates 95% of the time at home.
I found them at MOM (My Organic Market) in Maryland during our last visit with friends in September.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012- What an exciting morning at TSD for Orion!  Orion's ECI physical therapist met us at the PIP house to observe what Orion does all morning.  She gave great tips to get more out of Orion, such as encouraging him to cross his legs, making him sit up and not lean against his teacher when exploring his 'nature' scratch board (acorns, leaves, twigs, rocks), etc.  When we set him down on his bottom to eventually let him lay back, he worked to sit upright with both hands off his sides and on the floor.  We let him sit there, then when it seemed like he was stuck, his PT showed Orion how to get himself down, he resisted and continued to sit up!  Fast forward to us in the occupational therapy room, Orion showed us he could sit by himself once again, even at different heights (bench, 4-wheel scooter board, floor).

Some time ago and I can't recall who said it- Orion seems to be interested in sitting anywhere except for the floor.

Monday, December 10, 2012-  Orion's teacher informed me Orion signed "MORE" when I walked away from the dining table to get Orion's milk ready.  (Orion also has been sitting in this dining chair for 30 or more minutes without tiring out.  Record: 60 minutes!) Later after finishing his early lunch and washing his hands, Orion was laying down on the carpet when he seemed to want to get up (raised his arms), his teacher picked him up, he fussed, she put him down.  This happened a couple more times and he finally signed "MILK", perhaps a little frantically.  "MILK".  I ran over to the table where his unfinished bottle was and he quickly finished it off!

My thoughts- thanks to his PT suggesting Orion sit in our older kids' play schooldesk.  It was something we've had for a while and I didn't think to even use it as it seemed too big for him.  Nope, with another box on the floor in front of the desk for Orion's feet, he does great sitting in it!  (Has been sitting without any form of footrest all this time at home, school, here and Maryland.)  We now use the desk for snack time, home visits, exploring objects including braille books.  

The PT and Orion's teacher have improvised a footrest for Orion's dining chair at the PIP house, too.

In this desk and dining chair (of opportunity!) with his feet supported he has sat forward, rested back and held himself upright independently.  

He's been moving along inch by inch, but joyous inches, they are!
On Friday, December 7th, Orion, Anastasia and I went with 
friends to a Ballet Austin performance of The Nutcracker. 
Orion sits patiently here, while his sister and friend checked 
out the colorful lights outside after the show.

View of downtown Austin from the Long Center for the Performing Arts.