Tagged "feeding skills"

3 Years 4&5 Months: Eating properly

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

3 Years 4 Months


3 years 4 months

Here are Miss Belle at 3 years 4 months. I think her dental appliance is making her smile change a bit. The cape that she is wearing has been a daily staple in her wardrobe for the past few weeks.

During our TalkTools session last week with Whitney, I told her I was running out of ideas for videos for the blog and ask if there is anything she would like to see me include. She mentioned that it would be good if I could show Belle eating. Eating? Okay. That's easy enough.

A few days after my conversation with Whitney, I was fortunate to be around a fabulous small group of young kiddos with Down syndrome. We all had lunch together. It was then that it made sense to me why Whitney had asked me to take a video of Belle eating. I had forgotten what a challenge this can be for some people. Thank you Whitney and thank you TalkTools!!!!! I am confident that Belle would not have her current level of eating skills without this program.

Eating properly isn't something I think of much anymore and certainly take for granted the fact that Belle eats well and correctly, for the most part. Eating has been, however, a HUGE part of our TalkTools program for three years. As our program has evolved, we have progressed through other exercises and don't focus on the direct feeding elements quite as much. As a parent, I am thankful that Belle has achieved a level of eating technique that is appropriate. Of course, she has room for improvement, but I know we are on the right track. See for yourself:

3 Years 5 Months

Belle is now "just shy" of the 3 and a half year mark. It's hard to believe that we started with TalkTools 3 years ago. Time flies when you are having fun, right?

Belle is doing very well. She still loves to talk. She is saying new phrases or short 4-5 word sentences on a daily basis. Looking back on today, some of her new thoughts included: "Mommy, me big girl fork!," "Daddy washed me. Thanks Daddy," and "Ooww, you scraped my leg, right there." I also overheard her tell her dolls: "Go Costa Rica, eat broccoli, cauliflower, and chicken and rice."

At times, Belle does get frustrated if I don't understand what she is trying to tell me. I will shake my head and appear to agree with her, but she reads right through me. She totally knows if I am comprehending her stories, thoughts, and requests.

In regards to her medical status, Belle continues to have lots of nasal drainage and congestion. She was on a round of antibiotics this month which helped for a little while, but all of her drainage is back again now. She also still has her palatal expander in place, but hopefully we will be getting that out in the next few months. The palatal expander has helped to correct her cross bite (a.k.a. under bite). However, this will not be the end of her dental needs. Most likely, she will need another expander again in future years, but it should help encourage better jaw alignment in the short term.

TalkTools | Annabelle 4.5 years 3 years 5 months b 3 years 5 months c 

-Lanie Beetsma

Annabelle has Down Syndrome and has been using TalkTools Therapy since she was born. Her story is a great inspiration for parents seeking help for a child with Down Syndrome. Follow Miss Annabelle’s journey from the beginning here.

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11 Months: Doing a wonderful job at drinking & eating

Posted by Deborah Grauzam on

121 (374x640)-11months

We are so proud! Annabelle is 11 months old and is doing a wonderful job. We really have no cause for concerns because she has taken so well to her therapy. She is typically quite happy when we do the exercises with her. I am continuing to do her oral motor exercises 2-3 times a day. But Belle is still a little stubborn when it comes to the TalkTools Straw #1. When she cooperates, she does really well. I’ll start her on the TalkTools Straw #2 soon. Also, she loves her Infa Trainer Cup with yellow lid.

Belle is continuing to do an excellent job with chomping and eating. We really have no concerns with her eating either. She continues to love her Gerber Cheeto puffs. We cannot feed her fast enough with those things. Actually she loves to chew on whatever she can. Her eating is going great. She gets a little hyper while eating at times, especially when her brother and sister are around as her audience. We love her spirit and are excited that she doesn’t get annoyed with her modified eating tactics. It’s really all she knows so it makes it easier. Her mouth posture is typically still pretty good. Her mouth is still open a lot of time, but she is keeping her tongue inside about 99% of the time. We are so proud of our daughter and cannot believe how far we have come in the last 5 months. She is getting so big and growing into a happy little girl. Her smiles and laughter are contagious.

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