Friday, May 2, 2014

9 Months Home

I love celebrating Afua's milestones. I wrote about her 3 months home and 6 months home  accomplishments and now it's time for a 9 months home "brag" post.

Afua is now 14 pounds heavier (yay) than she was 9 months ago. She has also progressed from 3T to 5T clothing size (looooong legs) in that time. On paper, Afua will turn 4 in July, but we feel she is most likely already 4. With no definite answers, we leave things as is. Figuring out a child's true age is common with international adoptions and it's sometimes hard to navigate. We have thought about re-aging Afua but for her, staying younger is definitely a benefit. She is in a great preschool and will get better services longer.

These are some of Afua's recent accomplishments:

~ Using her stander for 1 FULL HOUR!!! We started with 5 minutes and have worked our way to an hour. Twice a day.

~Taking steps either in a gait trainer at school, or walking a few steps when someone holds her hands.

~ Uses sign language to indicate "eat", "more" and "yes". Understands more signs which helps our communication and lowers frustration.

~Although Afua loves to be in motion, she will wait her turn, sit more patiently and engage in play with toys. HUGE help at Dr offices.

~She participates in play with siblings. Rolling a ball back and forth, putting things in containers, pushing buttons for cause and effect. All such important developmental steps and her preschool has definitely helped her with learning to play.

Afua is working hard at therapy to learn new movement patterns, she is so used to tightening her body in straight planes of motion and the goal is to break those bad habits and teach her how to use her body a different way. It is hard work that pays off in the long run. Afua has athetoid cerebral palsy so she has movements that she does not initiate and sometimes those movements work against her. Learning to work with that is a process and Afua is proving to be determined once again.

We are waiting on insurance to approve various equipment an braces that will make our life easier and improve Afua's quality of life. There is no how-to manual, so we learn from our failures and successes. Afua is opening our eyes to a new world and we feel so blessed by this journey. 

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