Well, a lot has been going on since then (imagine that). Jayce has been visiting with his speech therapist twice a month. We've been working on lots of new things - but our main focus has been keeping his hearing aids on! Jayce has also been exploring new sounds through play. He enjoys banging on a drum (or anything, really) and it's been exciting to watch him actually take an interest to sound. Everywhere we go, I try to point out a new sound. If he's sitting in his high chair and his brother lets out a loud squeal, I look at Jayce with my finger to my ear and say, "Did you hear that?" and then I ask Wil to do it again and again so we can point it out to Jayce some more! It's loud around here! Even while reading books!
The best part about speech therapy are the games! I really wondered what "speech" would look like for a baby, but it's amazing! Jayce's favorite game involves two puppets ~ a cow and a chicken (this reminds me of my friend Sondra, but that's a whole other story). She holds the puppets in front of Jayce and makes a distinct sound for each animal (a MOOO and a BUCK! BUCK!). She moves their mouths as she makes the sound so that he associates the sound to the moving puppet. Then, she tries to trick him into looking at the correct animal after a sound is made without any puppet movement. He has to learn to listen for the sound RATHER than look for the visual cue. Tricky, tricky! Especially for Jayce, my little visual learner.
Jayce has also been working hard during Physical Therapy. We started at the Middleton Rehab Center on Tuesday, November 6th. We met with a great pediatric physical therapist named Jim who decided after a brief evaluation that Jayce would benefit from weekly, intensive PT for three full months. Now this posed a bit of a problem because our insurance company only approved six sessions (yes, 6... I hate them ~ more on that later), but when someone tells you your child "needs" something, you go with it. So Jayce got to work...
Jayce has hypertonia (increased muscle tone) in his hips and legs. This basically means that these areas are very tight; his muscles are quite stiff. So, some very basic things (although I'm learning that nothing the body does is at all basic) like sitting or changing positions is difficult for Jayce. Imagine sitting up while your legs are bent at the knees. Now I'm not talking sitting "criss-cross applesauce". I'm talking knees up and legs stiff. It's hard and wobbly! Changing positions is hard for Jayce too. His muscles seem to get stiffer while in one position, so moving into another is tricky. So therapy for Jayce requires him to move! For the first 30 or so minutes of the session, he's all smiles, but after that.... look out! The thing about Jim is that he doesn't give Jayce ANY help. If he wants a toy that's on top of a table, he has to figure out how to get up there. Here is what PT looks like for Jayce: