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.
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:
One of his favorite toys these days is this drum. It’s made of real goatskin and makes a very satisfying sound:
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:
And he is still working on his sitting:
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!
We are SO pleased with his progress so far! Hooray for Early Intervention!