Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Leader of the Pack

Yesterday was a PA day, so no school for Summer.  She went to her daycare which had planned a fieldtrip to do some snowshoeing.  Fully expecting to hear that it was a real challenge for Summer - balance, coordination etc...  we were surprised and fully excited at the report her teacher gave:

"Summer was the champion snowshoer today!  She was the leader in the front of the line of kids and a real go-getter on the trail.  She was giving it her all, while some of the other kids were 'melting down' (no snowy pun intended...).  We were all really proud of her! She was amazing!"

So, I guess we will add snowshoes, and maybe even cross-country skis, to our shopping list!

Unfortunately, we don't have a picture to share.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Hello Barbie!

Yesterday, Summer's OT visited her at school.  She always has a cute story to tell me and great report:

Hi Tammy,  I completed a note that will be coming home with your little one who informed me, as I said good-bye to her using her given name, that I should (or perhaps it was that I have to) call her Barbie! That made me laugh. Then her EA informed me that your “Barbie” is also referring to Don as “Ken”. All I have to say to that is “What would Freud say about that?” Your “Barbie” sure can put a smile on my face!!!  (Recently, 'Barbie' is interchangeable with 'Puppy', at least 'Barbie' doesn't bark!)

The visit went well!  “Barbie” scored slightly below average on the subtest that looks at the ability to copy progressively more difficulty forms mostly because she is not yet consistently able to copy diagonals (separately or within other forms): /, \, X, Δ. She was able to imitate these forms when I drew each one and provided some extra verbal cues. She was well within normal limits with the visual perception testing I did which looks at visual discrimination. She scored slightly below average on the subtest that looks at pencil control. Two reasons that I noted for the difficulty with pencil control are:

i) she tends to wrap her thumb around the pencil shaft so she won’t have the same ease of movement she would have if she held the writing tools with the tip of her thumb opposite the tip of her index finger and

ii) it is hard for her to use her right hand effectively to stabilize the page so often the page moves on her.

I spoke her EA about trying “Barbie” with a clip board to hold her pages/workbooks for her. She will locate one to try in class.

I will try a couple different pencil grips with “Barbie” to see if we can get a better position for her thumb.  I noticed “Barbie” using a grasp much like the thumb wrap grasp. Now I also have to let you know that what is listed here as an “Inefficient Grasp Pattern” does not necessarily mean that the person with such a grasp will have significant issues with printing/handwriting; there are lots of people who have functional printing/writing despite using what this handout terms “Inefficient Grasp Patterns”. Next time you are in a meeting and people are doodling or taking notes check out the various grasping patterns. (Sounds like she will inherit my penmanship - MESSY!)

I will see “Barbie” for 3 visits next month to work on the diagonal pencil strokes and pencil control. I am not particularly concerned about these skills. I have scheduled these visits because the best way for me to see if this is something we need to be concerned about is to try out some different approaches and see what kind of progress she makes.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Bobber Graduate

OK, graduating from Bobber to Floater... not that big of deal, but progress is progress! Summer did AMAZING at her swimming class last night and she will move up to the next level. She is incredibly comfortable, but still respectful of the water. She has confidence and determination. So next week she will be a 'Floater'. At this rate, she will be swimming faster than her Dad by the summer.

We woke up to a wee bit of snow this morning...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Speaking of....

Summer is becoming quite a little conversationalist.  Her new segway to direct the conversation is "Speaking of.... etc. etc."  She sounds so grown up.  Here is a sample from yesterday:

Setting: visiting our neighbours Barb & Vera.

Mom: "So Barb, how is your hip."

Barb: "I am going to have an Xray, and if they don't see anything, I will have a CAT Scan."

Summer: "Speaking of CAT Scan!....  When I had MY.... scan, I was a little scared.  But I took my turtle, Squirt, with me and then I wasn't scared."

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Summer Swimmer

We finally registered Summer in swimming lessons at the YMCA.  It is a great deal, for $20 a month, she gets 4 lessons and access to the pool during any open swim time.  That includes an accompanying parent for free.  I think we will take advantage of this!

I called on Monday to register her and when Don picked her up at daycare and told her she did a big fist pump "YES!".  And then on the way home, we discussed, for 30 minutes: what bathing suit she would wear, what bathing suit I would wear, which flip-flops, what colour of towel, what colour is your towel, where is her swim bag, do you have goggles, you can use my goggles, can I use your goggles, where are we going to have supper, what time will we get home, what colour is my towel again?

Her first lesson was on Tuesday at 5:30. She was very comfortable in the water and with her teacher. She was so pumped about it. It was great to see the excitement on her face.

We totally look like over protective parents… we have to walk with her on the pool deck because her balance is not good on slippery surfaces.(she almost totally wiped out in the shower area, but I had ahold of her hand and caught her just in time.) To someone who doesn't know Summer, you can't tell that she has CP just by looking at her in a bathing suit - no brace on her leg and we all walk tentatively on the slippery deck. If she bangs her head, it is not good – obviously… so she is the only kid in the group with a parent escort… she doesn’t seem to mind and actually seems to enjoy sharing the experience…

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy New Year!

We rang in the new year with the Franklin's and Milne's for dinner and a sleep over.  We actually stayed up until midnight! 

A new year means a lot of different things to people.  For me, it means one big thing.  It's been six months since Summer's CT scan that showed her shunt not functioning / not placed / not sure.  And 3 months since her MRI that showed no change in ventrical size.  In 6 months, it will be a year (yes, I am such a math whiz), and I am counting down the months until the next MRI.  I know her neurosurgeon probably does not share our optimism, but it is his way of ensuring that we don't become complacent.  I hope one day we can.

Here are some pics from the weekend.