Wednesday, March 12, 2014

15 Months

I didn't realize it's been almost 3 weeks since I've written here. I always start to and then I get easily distracted and forget to come back to it. Camden is 15 months old now and I figured it's time for a little update on development.

It is no secret that gross motor is definitely not Camden's strength. He is in no hurry to get anywhere. He is very much the observer. He will study your face when you talk to him. He will watch big brother run around and just laugh. If something is out of his reach he will try a couple of times to get it and then just give up. His therapists ask me what we could use to motivate him to move and I always say if they figure it out to please let me know! He has always been on his own time table and when he's ready to do it, he will do it. It used to get me down to see him so behind his peers. He's even behind a lot of his peers with Ds. I have learned to have a lot of patience when it comes to this kind of stuff, and it doesn't bother me as much anymore. It makes his accomplishments that much sweeter. 

One thing we have been working on for several months is getting into a sitting position on his own. I used to have to put him into sitting if he wanted to sit, but not anymore! He can now push himself up to a sitting position from laying on his belly. I really thought it would be a while longer before he did this, but he surprised us one day by doing it all on his own randomly. We were so proud of him and he was extremely proud of himself too! I know most of you have seen this video, but here he is the first day he learned how to do it. It took a while at first, but now he's a pro!

So, now the problem is crawling. We have also been working on this for a couple of months. If he is on his stomach he automatically pops up into a sitting position now within a few seconds. I'm not sure how to keep him on his hands and knees to work on crawling. Before sitting, he would get on all fours and rock back and forth. He never really moved anywhere except backwards a few times. He doesn't attempt to army crawl, or do any type of crawling yet. He is definitely behind in this department. At least I don't have to chase him around!

We are also working on standing and pulling up to stand. I don't think we are anywhere close to this skill. He will stand with support but lately he only does it for brief periods and then wants to sit down. He used to be able to stand for longer periods and he actually loved to stand, so I'm not sure why he is not wanting to do it much anymore.

Occupational therapy started coming out about a month ago and they will see Camden twice a month. She has been working on fine motor skills with him because he's been struggling with this as well. His coordination has gotten a lot better the past couple of months and that has helped with fine motor. We've been working on picking up objects and placing them in a container. I know that probably seems like a simple skill, but it takes work and practice for Camden. He can do it most of the time, but he gets bored and frustrated with this game quickly. He also does not know how to use the pincer grasp (using thumb and index finger to pick up things) so we are working on that too. I need some tips if anyone has any on how to improve this skill. 

Speech has definitely improved since Camden got tubes put in. He babbles non stop at times. He's added more sounds to his vocabulary such as da da da, na na na, la la la, ba ba ba and a few more. Most of the time his noises are either yelling or jibberish, but it's nice to hear him vocalize. We don't have many real words yet. He says "ma ma" and "bu bu" (for Carter) and that's about it. I think he tries to say milk but it's really hard to tell. When he sees milk he always makes a "meh" sound, so I'm not sure. He is not signing yet either, but we are practicing every day. I know repetition is key, but sometimes I feel like it's not working. I'm sure he'll surprise me soon! One thing is for sure, he could watch "Baby Signing Time" for hours if you let him!

He's been doing really good with the straw cup, although he pretty much refuses to hold it on his own. If he grabs it he just flings it around. If I hold it he will go to town and drink up. We are down to two bottles a day and using a cup for the rest. He's not really into feeding himself either. I believe he can do it, but he would rather hold his mouth open and have you do it. He doesn't pick up finger foods to feed himself at all. He will throw them down or feed the dog. He will hold a baby cookie or cracker and eat that, but eventually throws that down too. I don't know if it's a behavioral issue or if he simply just wants us to feed him. Grrrr...this one frustrates me.

At his 15 month appointment he weighed in at 17 lbs 12 oz and was 28 3/4 inches long. He's still a little peanut, but he's on his own curve and no one is concerned about it, so I'm not either. I have no idea where he is on growth charts because I honestly don't care. It really doesn't matter right now. All in all he's doing great and we will keep doing what we are doing!

On World Down Syndrome Day (3/21) we will be celebrating the launch of our new DSDN website! Our goal is to provide information to families and a system of connection and support in a time that may seem incredibly difficult. Many of my rockin mom friends have been working very hard on this project and we are so excited to share it with everyone! This is a resource that could be incredibly helpful to others. Please go to the DSDN Facebook page and "like" our page and feel free to share! We are so close to 2,000 likes!


  1. He is doing great and he will do everything that frustrates you now.......he's got his own time table for it all. Owen's strength was/is gross motor, but he was still delayed in that area too. We spent a lot of time using our couch and couch cushions to get him into the right positions. I loved the Gross and Fine Motor books from Woodbine House because they offered pictures of how to get the kid into certain positions to do the work. Our OT would wrap Owen's hand so that all he could use were his thumb and index finger and that helped with the pincer grasp very quickly. Owen didn't start signing on his own until he was 18-20 months which was around the same time he would finally hold his own sippy cup. We just kept doing hand over hand all the time--a lot of work, but when he finally did it all on his own, it was awesome. Just takes time......I know that's probably a broken record phrase by now, but it's just true!

    1. Though it may be a broken record...I need to hear it! It definitely reassures me, especially when it comes from those who have already been through this stage. Some days when I'm doing something over and over I get so deflated and wonder if it's even clicking for him. I know that sounds terrible. Yet he always surprises me! I just need to keep at it!

  2. So much joy is all his accomplishments. I totally feel you on that too- little T is on her own schedule also! I too have come to a point where I am not one bit worried--with time she continues to accomplishes all that we hope. :) I hear you about the holding on to a cup - she takes a drink or two and then throws it on the ground and thinks she is hilarious. Keep up the work momma- your little guy is incredible!

    1. I hear ya! I used to get so wrapped up in when he was going to do things. Now that I've relaxed it's been so nice for my whole family! We just take if day by day. The cup thing drives me crazy! He likes to fling his all over the place with milk coming out like a fountain. ;) They will both do it...when they're ready!

  3. I so remember Russell at this age...He was the laziest baby ever!! lol, He was just content to lay or sit in one spot and no amount of therapy was changing that...I wondered if he would ever crawl. But eventually he did...I think he was about 17 months or so...And when that moment did happen it was amazing and sooo worth the wait! Hang in there, that moment is coming for you :)

    Russell took a while with his pincer grasp as well. What finally got him doing it was sitting in his chair and putting some puffs on the tray. If he wanted to eat one he had to grab it himself! At first he would just take a whole handful and shove them in his mouth, but then over time he got better with just trying to grab one at a time.

    One thing I learned with Russell is that he is always watching and taking things in even when I don't think he is. So keep repeating things with Cam, even if it looks like he is not paying attention at all.

    You're doing everything right Diane. I know I have told you this a million times, but if there is one thing I could change going back, it's that I wouldn't have worried so much about when and if Russell was going to do things. And that is something I can tell myself now, but I remember how hard it was when I was in your shoes. As a Mom we want so much for our kids it's hard to sit patiently and wait or wonder if we are doing all we need to be for them. So hang in there...He's going to get where he needs to be eventually, and until then, enjoy the ride :)

  4. Thank you Jenny! Your words always comfort me! I really am so much better at being patient, but then I still have those days when I want to throw my arms up and give up. I know that's all part of it and I just need to let it go. I'm so proud at how far we've come. You're right, I just need to keep doing it! We have our yearly EI eval next week so I'm sure I'll be writing a sob story. Even though I know what to expect, I'm sure it will still sting a little. One step at a time, right?!

  5. I just read your story from unexpected... I had forgotten that you'd had a birth diagnosis (ours was prenatal). How wonderful that our project will hopefully not only touch others with a new diagnosis but will also help us who are already friends to learn more about each others' journeys. Just wanted to tell you that I enjoyed your story! [HUGS!!!]