Yesterday Josie and I packed up the essentials and headed out for a LONG day at our local Down Syndrome Clinic. While Josie receives medical care and therapy locally, she still makes regular trips to the Down Syndrome Clinic for evaluations and therapy by professionals who specialize in Down syndrome.
Excited for feeding therapy!
From 10:45am to 5:00pm we had back to back sessions including feeding therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, and a consultation with a doctor who specializes in Down syndrome. It was a great opportunity to acquire information about how we can help Josie maximize her potential.
Josie giving Sarah, the OT assistant, the I'm-not-sure-if-I'm-going-to-smile-or-cry face
Josie was pretty cooperative for the most part - except for physical therapy. She appears to have acquired my aversion to athletic endeavors and she cried throughout most of the session. So much for skills and abilities! Feeding therapy was particularly interesting for us, as we're working hard to get her off of her feeding tube. After yesterday's session, we may end up changing our approach. At this point, we're willing to try just about anything!
Physical Therapy - right before the waterworks began
Our consultation with the doctor was the most fascinating part for me. Remember in the FAQ's when I stated that many siblings of individuals with disabilities end up pursuing a vocation dealing with individuals with special needs? Well, this doctor has a sibling with an intellectual disability. We spent most of the session talking about sibling relationships and I found our conversation absolutely fascinating both as a sibling and an expectant parent. She recommended the book Special Siblings by Mary McHugh. Email me if you'd like to hear more about this topic and the advice I received. I could go on and on...
We arrived home to find a package from our dear friend, Aleksandra (and her lovely family). This family was kind enough to let us stay in their home during the nearly two months Josie was in the NICU in another state and they will forever hold a special place in our hearts for this incredible act of kindness. Inside the package, was a fantastic book for Josie, written by The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond (who also has a sibling with special needs). If you haven't checked out her blog, you should (especially the "Mike" tab). We are big fans!
Josie cuddled up to her Daddy and he read her bedtime story
If you're interested in making an appointment at a Down Syndrome Clinic near you, the list can be found here.