Yesterday morning Nika had a swallow study done. No real reason other than I like to be proactive with my girls. Well, Nika does have some funky swallowing issues, but mostly the reason is that kids with Down syndrome have low muscle tone, which also can affect the way things work on the inside, causing aspiration.
Anyway. Nika is not aspirating, however apparently there are remnants of food that are sticking around in her esophagus after she swallows. The speech therapist basically told us to give her lots of fluids when she is eating to wash things down. I wonder what causes this? The only other issue is that Nika sort of accomodates her swallow by putting her head and chin sort of down and forward. I have noticed this on occasion, but not always. I guess that isn't technically correct eating form, but at the same time, the therapist told me that they try to teach people who have issues to eat that way.
So from here we basically have a lot of work to do to strenthen her mouth. Despite the low muscle tone in her mouth, she doesn't really have tongue protrusion, which seems odd to me. I think I am going to order some of the straws and horns that are part of the Talk Tools therapy. I have also noticed that instead of using her lips to pull food off of a spoon, she uses her teeth ... which is the wrong way to do it. So I have to figure out how to erase two years of incorrect mouth placement and fix it.
Yesterday afternoon, Nika and I went to the dermatologist. I went for followup on my pre-cancerous spot ... and to have a skin tag
I took Nika with me because I wanted the dermatologist to look at some spots on her. They are essentially like sand paper spots on her thighs and her biceps ... the thighs being worse. She gained another diagnosis ... Keratosis Pilaris. Apparently it is really common in people with dry skin and even more, people who have Down syndrome.
So ... we got some prescription steroid cream for the spots. We were told to use a gentle soap, like Dove, and Cetaphil for a lotion. I wonder what Cetaphil does that Eucerin or Aquafor doesn't do. Either way, the dermatologist said Cetaphil, so we'll go with that. Because Eucerin and Aquafor haven't gotten rid of it.
This morning Nika and I saw the pediatrician to discuss her immunization schedule. Thus far, we have been doing titers to figure out what exactly she is already immune to. I really didn't want to reimmunize her if we didn't need to. I told the doctor I wanted to do it slowly ... perhaps one shot per week. Immunizations make me really nervous because of all the autism accusations ... but I guess it doesn't make me nervous enough to not do it.
So today Nika got her first shot ... Diptheria, Tetanus and Pertussis. The pediatrician is coming up with a schedule for the remainder of the immunizations. We also got a script for her AAI xrays that we need to have done before her ABR.
Phew. I think that is it for now.