Monday, February 23, 2009

Pal Joey

Last week, we were introduced to Joey Abrenilla, an occupational therapist from Cota Health referred to us by Surrey Place Centre, who will be working one-on-one with Nathaniel out of our home on gross motor skills--in short, basic (but important!) stuff like lifting his head, grabbing with his hands, lower body strength and balance which can be slow to develop in some children with Down Syndrome due to (generally) weaker muscle tone.

Nathaniel charmed Joey right away (really, who can resist that sly smile?), and promptly demonstrated what we already knew: that he's a ready-steady bundle of energy and so far has yet to reveal a single indicator of any physical delay. Joey was pleased that Lidia and I had already instituted a daily routine of simple games and exercises that were clearly doing him some substantial good--after spending only a half hour with him, Joey found him to be not only right on target, but a bit more advanced than expected for his age and condition...

Today, Joey was back to demonstrate a few more exercises for us to adopt, and was once again thrilled at Nathaniel's ability to lift his head, respond to visual stimuli, and overall independent movement and strength. Nathaniel clearly enjoys the company of his own personal trainer--so it's too bad that soon Joey will be leaving his post and will be replaced by someone as-yet-unnamed.

Tonight, during a particularly noisy episode of "24", Nathaniel and I did some more exercises on the inflatable pillow downstairs, and I was amazed that Nathaniel was able to not only lift his head and hold it for several seconds (many times), but that he tirelessly worked to pull himself forward several this rate, he'll be crawling sooner than later! Inspiration, too, for his old man to stay in shape...someone's gonna have to keep up with this little dynamo!

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