Therapy evaluation

Today Ariana had her first therapy evaluation checking into her appointment today, I was nervous, and anxious. I had no idea what to expect. I walked in there with hopes that my little princess is conquering her milestones and reaching her goals appropriate for her age.

I’ve never looked at Ariana any different, I never thought to myself  “she will learn at a slower pace” or even that she has a learning disability. Her therapist today asked me, “what’s your main concern about Ariana?” To which I answered “Ariana, is the first in our families with downs, so I don’t know what to expect, what milestones she should be reaching, what’s okay and what’s not?” Her therapist said “that’s probably the best thing for Ariana and your family, look how amazing she’s doing. Don’t worry about her reaching her milestones at a certain time. All babies even without DS learn at different times.” She put me at ease, I feel more confident in raising Ariana after today’s evaluation. Her therapist comforted, and assured me I am doing an amazing job.

Her evaluation was about two hours long. In the two hours her therapist worked on motor skills, speech skills, eye cordination, and interaction skills.  As we were starting Ariana began to get cranky. She was hungry, so I began to get ready to breastfeed her. Her therapist did not mind nor did I. (I’m very pro-breast feeding anywhere, anytime. Baby is hungry, baby will be fed)  as Ariana latched on and began to feed, her therapists were amazed. I mean, jaw dropped couldn’t believe their eyes amazed.  One of the therapist explained to me, it is not common at all for babies with DS to breastfeed. Their low jaw muscle tone makes it almost impossible to do, most moms give up on trying to exclusively breastfeed because it is so difficult. She said in “the four years I have been at this location I have not had one DS baby be breast fed, that’s amazing.”  Without even knowing it Ariana was overcoming obstacles, without even batting her long beautiful eyelashes she breastfed like a pro. At that moment, my first thought was “Ariana is going to be just fine.” I couldn’t help but feel proud, and excited for Ariana. 

After Ariana was done feeding, she was ready to play. She had two therapists meet her today, (and I can’t remember their names to save my life) as soon as one of her therapists picked her up Ariana began to interact, baby talking, and even laughing! This was the first time Ariana laughed out loud! I do have to admit, I am a little jealous that Ariana’s first laugh was caused by her therapist and not mommy! *sad face* her interaction time was amazing and she’s at a three months old level! Let me clear that up, Ariana is at a three month olds level that doesn’t have DS. She interacts, she giggles, she grasps and follows you with her eyes, she gets startled at loud noises and she rolls to her side. All these things that I didn’t think much of are huge accomplishments for her and I couldn’t have walked out of there any more prouder!

Now that Her evaluation is done, and they determined how far along Ariana is, what milestones she has already reached, and what we have to work on. Ariana will be written out a schedule, she will meet with four different therapists. (ie. speech therapist) she will see her therapists once a month, and of course as she gets older, her schedule will change.

It was an amazing feeling to receive all this positive feedback. I’ve never felt more comfortable in raising Ariana.


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