Thursday, July 22, 2010

Swim Therapy

Physical therapy is by far the most difficult of Brennan's therapies. He has always had really, really low muscle tone which makes meeting gross motor milestones that much more difficult. For a long time, he has been resistant to bearing weight on his feet which makes working on standing nearly impossible. So we struggled with figuring out how to get him weight bearing in order to move him closer to his next gross motor milestone of walking. I had heard from a couple of friends that swim therapy had proven very beneficial for their kids. Unfortunately, our local intervention center does not offer swim therapy and I worried that doing it on our own would be very costly. Luckily, our insurance company automatically authorized 15 visit (without even a phone call from me - yahoo!). The therapist said it often takes kids a couple of sessions to get used to the therapist and the water, but Brennan loved it immediately.The benefit to Brennan of swim therapy was that the buoyancy in the water enabled him to practice standing without actually having to hold all of his weight. This, in turn, increased his confidence in his ability to bear weight on his feet and legs and after only a few swim therapy sessions, he was bearing weight on his feet and legs on land, too.
Unfortunately, the swim therapist is currently taking medical leave, but I think the sessions he had were extremely beneficial and look forward to resuming his swim therapy soon. In the meantime, we've been spending lots of time at the pool "practicing" on our own!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I'm definitely not the best blogger. I have many thoughts in my head, but just haven't made the time to sit down and type them. As a quick summary, Brennan turned 2 in March and in the last few weeks has really started acting like a 2 year old. He now tells us quite clearly when he is not happy, when he wants something, when he doesn't want something, when he wants to do something or doesn't want to do something (read: lots of yelling!). We're working on teaching him more signs that will hopefully help him communicate in a less headache-inducing way. Other than that, he loves reading books,puzzles, swimming, swinging, being pushed in his tricycle, waving to everyone he sees,
any game that involves putting things in and taking things out. He also loves wearing hats,wrestling with his brothers, playing with light sabers, listening to music and giving hugs.

I'll be back with some things I want to share about swim therapy, orthotics, and some great workshops I attended at the National Down Syndrome Congress Convention.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Two of Brennan's Favorite Books

These are two of Brennan's favorite books: "Kids Like Me...Learn Colors" and "Kids Like Me...Learn ABC's"

Each page of both books has a picture of a child with Down syndrome. Brennan laughs and smiles every time we read these books. And when there is a page with a group of children on it - he automatically points to the child with Down's like he knows he has something in common with them. There are a few other children's board books that contain pictures of kids with Down syndrome, but these two are Brennan's favorites by far - and they're educational, too!