Thursday, June 6, 2013

Summer Time + Esther's New Therapy

I'm copying this from Esther's blog as this is really keeping our family busy these past few weeks!

Esther LOVES to help Carese...
far more than Carese likes to be helped, though!
Summer has arrived, and with it some beautiful weather!  In the past few months, we were given a swing set which is getting a lot of use now, and we got a steal of a deal on a swimming pool (ours died of old age last year) as well.  The kids haven't been in the pool much in the last two weeks due to cool/rainy weather, but that all changed this week!

Esther enjoyed our first "Lake Day"
Summer also means "Lake Days."  We have some sweet friends who live on the lake, and they invite us over almost every week for some beach time.  We all enjoy this special treat!  Last Friday was our first "Lake Day" and we all had so much fun.  Esther spent almost the entire time in the water, and enjoyed every minute of the day.  Carese kept me busy, and it took a while for her to get used to wearing a life jacket, but Esther had no problems with the "life jacket all the time" rule at all!

Last winter we heard about a neurodevelopmental program that a dear friend of mine had discovered, which had made a huge difference in her child - leaping 18 months in development in just 4 months.  The second 4 months did not show this great leap of developmental progress, but there were other extenuating factors.  But she had continued to progress more rapidly with this program than with any of the other therapies that they had tried.

Esther learning her alphabet while getting her hair combed,
after getting dressed and getting her glasses on.
While we are doing therapy with Esther we have Mozart
playing on our stereo for brain stimulation.
We researched the "Can Do" program, and found out that they would even be at our Christian Heritage Homeschool Convention!  Even though it was difficult to come up with the up front costs, we decided that it was the best time to start this program for Esther, as during the summer months I have less on my plate (homeschooling break) and it would be good to start this program before Esther's new sister come homes (her adoption should be finalized next winter).

Esther had her first evaluation at the beginning of May, and at that time I was also taught everything I needed to know to implement the program that they custom designed for Esther.  We will be sending in updates every two weeks and later every month.  We will have her re-evaluated every 4 months (that is how often they are in our area).  Can Do services 8 states (WA, ID, CA, ND/MN, MI, OH and NY) and families drive a long way to use their services.  Thankfully, we only have to drive about 1 hour away!

Here are some photos of Esther's therapy!

Esther leaning animal sounds while getting deep pressure massage
to her hand/arms/feet/legs.
Jessica is doing the massage in this photo.

Our therapy checklist for the week, and her daily meds/supplements
most of which go into her yogurt.
The penny bank and pennies is for fine motor skills
- she has to pick up the pennies and put them into the bank!
That is Daniel's job - to help Esther with this therapy.
You can also see "bite tubes" in a baggy.
The bite tubes are part of her mouth stimulation and for
strengthening her jaw for better speech later.

Esther gets a vibration massage to her hands a feet while she eats her yogurt
this helps develop her brain/body connection to help her overcome
her high pain tolerance and prepare her for potty training.
Here Rachel is working with Esther

Esther's memory cards.  She is learning the names of the items on the cards
both to say them and to point them out on command.
She can only do one at a time, but we are working to help her be able
to point to two in a row and then three, and then four.
You can see Carese is also at the table "playing" therapy.

These are photo cards that I made.  There is the word for the item in the photo on the back
We show her the word, and then the photo, and then the word again
She loves these cards and is saying more words now, as well as
pointing to the object in the photos!

Dayton is helping Esther learn her numbers.
All the children (except Carese) help Esther with different parts of her therapy
as each child is able - it's their "school" for the summer!

This is Carese - she stole this sucker/sponge that we use for mouth stimulation with Ether
She loves these (she's been teeting)
We use this with Esther,one is dipped in very warm water and swished around in Esther's moujt
The other one is put in very cold water and we alternate between the two.
Esther has many other therapies, but I'll save those for another post!

If you want to check into this program, check out their website - Can Do
They are a christian company who focus on teaching parents to work with their children at home to enable their children to reach their greatest potential - it's for children with any disabilities, even ADHD, dyslexia and Autism!

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