Monday, April 14, 2008

Tasty Milestones

This is such a sweet picture to me. Shawn is sitting in our living room floor with Hye-Lee, a therapist who comes to our house weekly to work with Shawn on physical and occupational (fine motor) modalities. In this photo, he is holding a tiny ball with suction cups, and he managed to pull it off of a base. This exercise helps him develop strength in his hands, wrists, and arms. You can see he is enjoying it. He also goes to Vanderbilt Pediatric Rehab twice a month for similar therapies. But this week we accomplished something remarkable...
Shawn is 15 1/2 months, and has only 2 tiny little bottom teeth. He still eats baby food from a jar, and drinks 2 bottles a sippie cup yet. We have given him crackers and other soft, dissolvable foods, because at this point, with no chompers...I'm afraid he will choke. I've taken a couple of chances here and there, and when he chokes, I just tell myself.....this can wait. Eating solid foods can wait. The family went out for Mexican food this week. We fed sweet Shawn before we went so he would not be hungry. Sweet fella just looked like he wanted what we were I took a chance. I chopped up my grilled chicken into fine little bites, and Shawn ate every bite. He then shared some of Ashers hamburger. The boy ate like a champ.
For even a typically developing child, this is something to celebrate. For a child with Down syndrome, this is not an easy accomplishment. An enlarged tongue gets in the way and pushes food out involuntarily. And without teeth...chewing is, well....very complicated to say the least. But now Shawn is eating banana, cheese and hot dog. And he loves every morsel. We have received this as a gift and blessing, and thank God for giving Shawn the gift of "pigging out!"
Down syndrome has only enriched our lives.... I sincerely pray that every new mom or expectant family who has received the in vitro diagnosis of Down syndrome will not be afraid. Joy awaits.


Anonymous said...

Looks yummy to me. Melissa I'm so excited you are blogging. I just subscribed to your blog via my google reader. Can't wait to keep up with what's going on!

Jenn said...

Melissa, I'm SOOOOO glad I found your blog!! I found your business card in my purse and have been meaning to call you. We've just had one of those crazy busy seasons lately. I'm glad to see your little guy-he is ADORABLE!!! We need to get the kiddos together!