I had been anticipating Tuesday since we said our good-byes to Moises (Lola’s Costa Rican PT) this past November. I worried Lola would fall behind without the help of Moises and Melissa as we simply didn’t know what was to lie ahead in her future yet we knew we were seeing something awaken within Lola thanks to their team. So the long drawn out process it took for Lola to get approved for First Steps was agonizing. But then something happened I didn’t expect (and shame on me for not thinking so)…Lola began to blossom developmentally without the help of any therapist or team. She just started to get it. She taught herself how to sit up on her own, how to sit up from the lying down position, how to semi-feed herself. All of these remarkable milestones (not inchstones people) she began to achieve just at her own pace.
When Lola’s physical therapist, Ashley called to schedule her first appointment, I was now giddy with excitement. If Lola could achieve such monumental milestones on her own, just think what she could do with the help of a professional. The only bad thing about that call was I realized I would be working meaning I would not get to see Lola and her new PT. But I have a very observant husband who not only told me all about it, he also video taped a bit of the session too.
Ashley spent an hour here in our home where she began by asking Rob a full detailed background on Lola, her diagnosis, her medication, her therapy and her development. Then she went right to work evaluating Lola herself. Right away she noticed Lola’s lack of muscle tone in her lower back and stomach. She noted that this is why Lola uses her hands/arms and her feet/legs almost as separate units to help keep her balanced. It is creating a bad posture position and will be addressed through therapy techniques such as Lola sitting on a stool. Talk about your baby looking like a grown up! If I have time later (sorry folks I’m working my ninth straight day today), I’ll post the video of it. Ashley gave Lola a good stretch and taught Rob so that we could do it daily with her. She was pleased to see Lola’s effort in crawling and told Rob to continue to guide her as we already were. She instructed us to purchase a baby stool and a large exercise ball to help with Lola’s trunk control and muscle tone. Overall Rob felt quite confident in Ashley’s abilities and we are excited to be creating a team for Lola once again.
A few hours later, I hurried home from work in an effort to meet Lola’s developmental therapist, Kristen. Kristen was brought in to help with Lola’s vision although she has never worked with a visually impaired child before. Ironic right? Well the original therapist is on maternity leave, but will be guiding Kristen as to how she can help Lola maximize her vision potential. The session began just as the session with Ashley. A lot of talking, explaining and assessing. Then Kristen simply played with Lola in a functional way. She tried to get Lola to knock over toys by using her sight rather than her sense of touch. She tried to get Lola to reach out at objects. She worked on Lola’s resistant arms in an effort to get her to touch a book. It was amazing to see after the sixth try, Lola began to allow Kristen to guide her hand onto the book. We aren’t quite sure why Lola protects her hands so adamantly, but our guess is that they act as her eyes in most instances therefore she wants to keep them close and safe to her. Kristen explained that she would learn more about Lola’s vision impairment and what types of exercises that would help Lola the most. Both Ashley and Kristen will be back on a weekly basis.
Lola starts her occupational therapy sessions a week from Friday as tomorrow she has her EEG. We ask for extra prayers and good thoughts to be sent Lola’s way. I’ll post an update of the EEG over the weekend.