New Milestones: In the past few months Noah began to stand up on his own without holding onto anything. Then he started taking a step or two from that position and a few weeks later he was walking across the living room! It is so fun to see how proud of himself he is. He’s not walking full time yet (as he realizes that crawling is still much faster and easier for him), but he’s getting there.
Therapy: Noah is still attending developmental preschool twice a week. His physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy are incorporated into the class time. He’s a hard working little boy! Here are a few of the things we are focusing on right now in each area.
Physical Therapy (gross motor): walking, going up and down stairs, standing up for extended periods of time, navigating playground equipment, squatting, general balance
Occupational Therapy (fine motor): pincer grasp, putting toys into different openings in a jar, using toys appropriately (playing instead of throwing), using tools appropriately (coloring with a crayon instead of putting it in his mouth), pushing buttons, opening and closing things
Speech Therapy: general communication, signs, gestures, imitating sounds and mouth movements, words
Sleep: Noah had his second sleep study back in July. The study was a little harder this time around because he is older and therefore more aware of things being taped to his head. He is also extremely suspicious of anyone resembling a doctor or nurse right now. We got the results a few weeks ago and were so relieved to hear that his obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has improved as a result of his tonsil and adenoid removal!! Sleep apnea is measured by the average number of apnea events (pauses in breathing) per hour during sleep, which is called the AHI (apnea hypopnea index). For children, normal is 1.5 and below. Mild is below 5. Moderate is 5-10. Severe is above 10. Noah’s was previously 10. Post-surgery it is now 2! This is great news and means we don’t need to pursue further surgeries or oxygen for him while he’s sleeping.
Hearing: Great news on this front as well! In my last hearing update, I explained how the placement of ear tubes has drastically improved Noah’s hearing. He went from having moderate hearing loss to now having borderline normal hearing. He only has mild hearing loss at a couple frequencies. We were so excited to say goodbye to his Baha and start seeing improvements in speech and language development. Noah is noticeably more attentive to quieter noises than he was before and we have recently seen an increase in the frequency and diversity of his vocalizations.
Speech: Noah is definitely making more sounds with consonants, which is a great sign, and starting to show the beginnings of some words. He says “ah-da” for all done, “dada” for daddy, “dow” for down, “ya” for yes, “da” for that, “wow” and “ow” for ouch. He’s also picking up new signs all the time now, which has helped him to communicate his wants and needs with us. That has been huge! He signs food, all done, milk, open, more, please, want, me, turn and he just signed bath for the first time the other day! He also waves, blows kisses and loves to give hugs, especially to his stuffed animals.
Feeding: Noah is still a pretty great eater, for which we are very grateful. However, like most 2 year olds, he has developed a fondness for throwing food and playing with it. His OT is working with him on learning how to use utensils and keeping food on his plate. In the meantime I spend a lot of time vacuuming underneath his high chair and wishing that cats cleaned up food scraps as well as dogs do.
Play: Noah loves to play with his brother and pretty much anyone who will give him attention. He enjoys peek-a-boo, throwing balls, playing in the water table (and what must appear to be a built-in water table in our bathroom - the toilet), splashing in the wading pool, his favorite books, bubbles, swings, slides, investigating what is in drawers and cupboards, trucks and trains. One of his favorite things to do in the morning is do what we call a “pounce” move on his brother, which instigates a rowdy round of rough housing that is all fun and games until someone (usually Landon) gets hurt. Ahhhh, life with boys!
In the past 6 months Noah has gone from a good natured, fairly mellow baby to a curious, energetic, feisty toddler who knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to show you how he feels if he doesn’t get it. He is always into something! But he matches his energy with affection and love. He is generous with his hugs and slobbery kisses, and can be quite the charmer when he wants to be. His enthusiasm is contagious and he never ceases to light up our hearts with his smile.