Smiling Ben

Even though he hasn’t been feeling well for over 2 weeks, Ben is definitely showing some signs of progress with his gross motor skills. He first showed signs of grasping toys and other objects months ago, however he quit altogether for some reason shortly after that. He became very resistant to having his left hand touched for any reason, and he made little effort to grasp anything (although he would happily bat at objects and spin them).

We mentioned all this to his physical and occupational therapists, and they thought that maybe he was having some sensory integration issues with his hand. So we started some exercises to de-sensitize his hands and arms. We have three plastic containers filled with different things; one contains rice, one has black beans, and one has lima beans. We started having him immerse his hand in each of these. At first he hated all of them, but he has since come to enjoy the rice and the black beans. For some reason he still hates the lima beans! Then we placed small rings into the beans and rice (almost submerged but still visible) for him to pull out, and he’s been doing great.

Ben OT sensory integration exercise

Since we’ve started those exercises a few months ago, we’ve seen definite signs of improvement. He now readily reaches for and grasps toys and rattles, and gleefully shakes them. He even puts his toothette (that we use for oral motor skills) near (but not in) his mouth:

Ben with toothette

One of his favorite toys these days is this drum.  It’s made of real goatskin and makes a very satisfying sound:

Ben with drum

He has done the 360 degree roll a few more times – we will have to make sure he doesn’t get too tangled in his feeding tube:

Tangled in feeding tube

And he is still working on his sitting:

Ben with stacking rings

A few days ago we had dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant.  We put Ben in a big-boy highchair for the first time (and wedged him in well with his coat).  He played happily with his toy for a few minutes, then decided he’d had enough!

Ben at Mexican restaurant

We are SO pleased with his progress so far!  Hooray for Early Intervention!


9 Responses to “Grasping”

  1. lisa leonard Says:

    Wow, that all sounds so exciting! Go Ben!! That cracks me up that he doesn’t like the lima beans–they are kinda yucky 🙂

  2. Dawn Says:

    Fantastic progress, Baby Ben! I join him in his distaste for lima beans. Maybe if you used M & M’s?…….

  3. mark - in my own defense Says:

    If we used m&m’s we would have to replenish the supply every two days.

  4. Misty (mason's mom) Says:

    when i first read your blog, my ten year old walked in and saw the top pic of ben and he asked me when i took that picture of mason LOL! he couldn’t believe that it wasn;t mason!! LOL! i tried to explain about the cdls features, but it was hard for him to get passed their cute faces looking so similar!! (mason has those cute little lines on the sides of his nose too! and the hair……WOW! our babies are twins! i am so glad to see that ben is doing so well. he gives me lots and lots of hopes for his little twin mason! i can’t wait to hear about his next accomplishments!!

  5. Mom/grandma Says:

    How wonderful to see Ben doing all those things. The pic I like best is the one at the restaurant. Now that is progress. Hooray for early intervention.

  6. Anne Says:

    So glad Ben is making so much progress! Great news!

    Archie used to get all tangled up in his O2 tubing when he rolled around. It was annoying, yet gratifying, keeping up with him.

  7. Tammy and Parker Says:

    Parker loves his drum too. I’ve been looking for a more realistic one for him. He has put many, many miles on the one he has now. 🙂

    I’m glad Ben is making such great progress!

    Tammy and Parker

  8. ariel Says:

    Oh I am so glad to hear that little bens progress! all the photos you post gave me immense joy watchin him tryin his drum, him looking intently with his piled toys! so adorable!

    I am so happy, thank you for posting the photos….

  9. ariel Says:

    lest i forget the first photo of ben is so cute…

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