That's right folks, Della Belle moved from Point A to Point B while standing up and moving along the furniture. The distance spanned may have been less than a foot, but this is a pretty big step developmentally. Especially for the world's laziest baby. I mean that seriously, she hates to do anything that requires effort and strength, and she would much rather lay on the ground and watch everyone else tire themselves out. This is not a good combination for her- being lazy does not help her progress. Those who have children know that your kids come to you with distinct personalities and that's just the way it is. Anyway, we bought Della some soft soled shoes so that she can practice her walking (aka I hold her under her armpits hoping she will try and take steps while she just lets her legs drag lifelessly on the ground).
We are still struggling to get services for Della. When we left California she was receiving one hour of physical therapy, one hour of occupational therapy, and we were in the process of getting approved for an hour of speech therapy as well, totaling 3 hours a week. Here in Texas we get 1 hour a month with a physical therapist and one hour a month with our case worker. Hmmmm....quite a discrepancy. We were looking into hiring an educational lawyer which is a lawyer (duh) who works with mostly children with special needs by ensuring that these children are getting the maximum amount of services that they are entitled to under state law. Allison met a woman at her son, Tistan's, school who had moved from north Texas and has a son with autism (I think). This woman recommended we hire an advocate. My first thought was "Sounds cheaper than a lawyer!" Allison gave me the name of an advocate as well as an educational lawyer who has 2 sons with autism. Thanks Allison!
Behind therapy, I feel that finding a diagnosis is probably the second most pressing issue with Della. I have been e-mailing (nagging incessantly) the Meyer Center at Texas Children's Hospital. According to their web page they "diagnose and develop management plans for children who have complex problems such as learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, autistic spectrum disorders and disorders of language, behavior and attention."
Their diagnostic team consists of
- A neuropsychologist/developmental psychologist to provide cognitive, emotional, behavioral and social-adaptive assessments.
- A speech/language pathologist to evaluate receptive and expressive language development, articulation (speech) skills and oral motor abilities.
- An occupational therapist to provide evaluations and treatment plans to improve children’s small muscle (fine motor) skills and activities of daily living.
- A physical therapist to provide evaluations and treatment plans to improve children’s large muscle (gross motor) skills, including posture and locomotion.
- A social worker to discuss family concerns, provide emotional support and identify appropriate community resources.
- Additional consultations can be requested through Texas Children's Hospital from neurology, child psychiatry, otorlaryngology, the Learning Support Center and other disciplinarians as needed.
That's enough complaining for one post. Chad is convinced that Della is saying "Da-da" in reference to him, I am not so sure, but Chad is really adamant that she is. I guess only time will tell. Here are a few pictures of Della below, in this first one she is bustin' a one-hander and sporting her cherry kicks...
How do I get these off?
She also has been learning how to drink from a cup and although she is perfectly capable, she would prefer if you held the cup for her. After all, what else would you expect from the world's laziest baby?
We went swimming at a friend's house on Thursday and everytime I turned around Della would be leaning forward in her fortress of floaties and lapping up pool water like a little dog. I couldn't get her to stop. Apparently adding 2 jars of baby food and a carnation instant breakfast made with whole milk to her watery snack was just too much. Instead of taking her nap I found her playing with her partially digested food in the crib. It was everywhere. Archer walked in, exclaimed that it smelled like throw up and promptly made these faces in rapid succession. Good thing I had my camera out.
I love how accommodating restaurants, stores, and other places of businesses are to children in our area (maybe the whole state, I am not sure). We went to a restaurant called "Willies" last night and they have a patio with a huge sand box for kids to play in. We plopped the kids into the sand, sat back in the cool evening, and ate obscene amounts of onion rings. It was great.
*Stay tuned for a new post in the near future. Chad has been in Galveston all day working on a demo crew put together by the church. Should make for some interesting reading.