And we've kept ourselves busy doing summery things like swimming! Christian loves warm water. He just melts right into it. Our pool is a little cold yet but Gramma and Grampa's pool is over 90 degrees! Yesterday Christian went swimming and Gramma brought him out of the pool to lay him down. He started yelling and carrying on so she asked him if he wanted to go back in. He responded with his voice, she brought him back in and never heard another peep out of him!
I am loving that he is really, truly communicating with his voice in response to questions. This kid just blows me away! And I love when he smells like sunscreen and chlorine and he's tired from an afternoon swim. It's so summer vacation.
I've also made it a goal that Christian get in his stander every single day for an hour. We should be doing this regularly because it helps keep his bones strong but with running around and Christian's early bed time, most days we were running out of time. But now that we are home enjoying not having anywhere to be, he has been in his stander almost every day.
We're also doing something new! We've always given Christian tastes when he's up for it and recently he has really liked tasting french fries. So we brought some french fries to his speech therapy last week. He showed his speech therapist that he would taste and swallow but didn't want to hold the french fry. So she got an orange Popsicle out and all of the sudden, he was interested in holding the Popsicle. He exercised his pattern of pushing it away first and then swinging it back around, with help, toward his mouth. And he even brought his tongue forward to his lips to taste it.
After seeing his pattern and his ability to swallow but his mouth's inability to organize, his speech therapist thought he would be a good candidate for Frazier Water Protocol. You can read more about it here.
The idea is that by introducing water a few times a day by mouth, we're working that swallowing muscle. The thing is that Christian doesn't vomit anymore (yay!). I know this sounds gross but when he was vomiting all the time, he was working his swallow muscle constantly and I really think it helped him learn to protect his airway. But now he's not vomiting. Which is great! But if he doesn't use those muscles regularly he'll loose them. This program will help him exercise that muscle in a functional way while greatly reducing the possibility of future aspiration pneumonia. Christian has never had a pneumonia and we'd like to keep it that way.
We're also cleaning his mouth several times a day along with offering about 3 mL of water by syringe. This keeps his mouth hydrated, reduces bacteria, and provides overall better oral care and hygiene.
After just two days of following the protocol I saw a huge difference in his mouth. This program couldn't have come at a better time because I was starting to feel like his dry mouth was getting out of control. And remember when I mentioned he was vocally responding? Well, when I've been giving him his water, he starts vocalizing. I tell him if he wants more he has to tell me with his voice. AND HE DOES IT! I have to get this on video. Like I said, this kid blows me away!
So we're having a pretty awesome summer so far and I've even started thinking about a certain little boy who's turning five pretty soon and how we'll be celebrating. This is a big one, folks!