I know you are probably interested in hearing a Buddy Walk recap, but I am waiting on more photos so I can put together a post with thoughts and photos. In the meantime, I will follow a suggestion from one of the other 31 for 21 bloggers and make a 21 facts list.
1. Sean is a vegetarian, but the only vegetable he eats is sweet potatoes.
2. Sean has oral aversions that we our working on overcoming by doing feeding therapy. He only eats a minimal variety of baby foods and certain yogurts.
3. Part of Sean's oral issues, is the fact that the muscles in his mouth have low tone, making it difficult for him to move food properly to chew. His mouth is hyposensitive (this means that he can not feel food/liquid in his mouth very well.) He feels the need to pack it full in order to feel it so he can then move it around to swallow. This is why he enjoys packing tissues, wet wipes or other objects in his mouth. It gives him the sensory input he needs to feel things in his mouth. He has difficulty drinking from an open cup, because he needs to fill his mouth full of liquid before he knows it is in there and needs to swallow.
4. Sean has developed a very strong gag reflex in defense of foods because he does not want to choke on textured food. If we have been successful in getting him to chew a piece of food (like a pea) he spits it out after a bit because he does not trust his ability to swallow it without harming himself.
5. Sean has had reflux since birth and was only a daily medication for it until he was 18 months old. The last swallow study he had determined that he moves liquids very slowly to his stomach because the muscles in his esophagus are weak/have low tone.
6. Trying to overcome Sean's feeding difficulties has been one of the most stressful aspects of parenting him. It has caused feelings of anger, hurt, disappointment, fear, embarrassment, and frustration.
7. It costs $35 a week to feed Sean the food he is willing to eat.
8. Sean has been breastfed since birth and continues to breastfeed at age 3. Breastmilk does not lose it's beneficial properties as the child ages. The less the child consumes, the more concentrated the nutrients in the breastmilk become.
9. Sean nurses an average of 4 times a day. Once before nap, once after. Once at bedtime and once in the morning. He night weaned himself this summer, so we usually get to sleep thru the night now.
10. Breastmilk is said to increase IQs by 3-5 points. The longer a child breastfeeds, the greater the cognitive benefits. UK Study results
11. Sean is not on any of the vitamin regements that some parents give their children with Down syndrome.
12. Sean has been learning sign language since he was 10 months old (when he started sitting independently.)
13. Sean made his first sign when he was 15 months old. The sign for 'more'.
14. The sign Sean uses the most is 'eat', which he also says at the same time.
15. The longer it takes you to respond to his request for food, the more he signs it and says it. EAT! EAT! EAT!
16. Sean is currently picking up animal signs, his favorite is 'elephant'. He also makes an elephant trumpeting noise as he signs it.
17. Sean adores the Wiggles and does the hand motions for many of their songs.
18. Sean's all time favorite Wiggles song is 'Hot Potato'.
19. Sean's Nana is a Wiggles enabler. She has bought him 7 Wigles dvds.
20. Nana also just bought him the complete set of Signing Times videos. Mommy is hoping Sean becomes a fan of them because the Wiggles are getting very tiresome.
21. As Sean is nursing to sleep at night, I often see his little hands signing away in his semi-sleep in the darkness of our room. Most of the time, he is signing Wiggles songs.