Monday, February 2, 2009

The therapy begins ... she made a fool of me!

Lesson of the day: OT = Occupational Therapy or Occupational Therapist.

Ahem, now that we have that taken care of ... let's move on.

Nika started OT today. The almighty developmental evaluation determined that she is in need of OT ... a whopping two hours of OT per month. That isn't really what she needs, but that is what they are willing to give her.

*rolls eyes*

I was talking with Nika's OT about her drinking problem. Maybe I haven't clued you in on her problem, but let me see if I can give you a quick run down.

In the baby home, the kids were not given drinks during their meals. They were given their drinks after their meal was over. The drinks were given in an open cup. Now, Nika being the two year old that she is ... developmental delays and all ... could not necessarily manipulate an open cup by herself. So it was brought to her mouth for her and essentially dumped into her mouth. When I say dumped I don't really mean dumped, but it seems like a good enough word to describe how the situation was handled.

So ... fast forward to her leaving the baby home with her new parents. That would be us. We brought with us to Russia a Nuby sippy cup ... I'm not sure why, since we don't even use those cups, but that is what we had.

Thank God that is what we had, because it didn't take Nika long to figure out how to get liquid from the cup. Her technique left a lot to be desired, but whatever ... she was getting fluids, right?

Her technique ... crank her head back, tilt the cup and bite the mouthpiece in order to allow the liquid to flow down her throat. She essentially downed it and gulped with the back of her throat ... not much use of real tongue movement in her swallow. Lots of sloppy mouth posture and leaks all over.


After we got home, we tried the Playtex Insulator Cups in an effort to help her mouth posture, which my other kids have used. No success with Nika ... she couldn't figure out how to actually suck the liquid out. After all, it was easy for her to just have the liquid flow down her throat easily. We tried giving her a straw, however all she wanted to do was bite it.

Did I say this was going to be a quick run down? Oops, sorry.

So anyway, back to OT today. Nika's OT was horrified after watching her drink out of her Nuby. The sound of her gulping continuously in the back of her throat makes my throat hurt. So the OT said, "I would try just moving right into a straw. That will allow her to keep her head upright, as well as give her good mouth posture."

Haha. Yeah right. I proceeded to tell the OT that Nika pretty much likes to chew on the straw and it wasn't happening. I figured I would show her to prove my point.

I got a juice box out of the fridge, put the tiny little straw in and put it to Nika's mouth. Will you believe that little stinker wrapped her lips around that little straw and sucked it right down?

No drips. No drools. Perfect.

I was speechless. I'm not sure which pocket she pulled that trick from ... but I'll take it! So ... bye bye Nuby sippy ... hello Nuby straw!

Here is some video of before and after {aka: the progress she has made} ...


  1. great job Nika! She is such a doll!

  2. GO NIKA GO!!

    That's great that she picked it up so quickly!! Seems like a fast learner!

    Now.. Bike riding, Figure Skating, Calculus, Trigonometry!

    Keep up the Great work Nika!

  3. Wow! Look at that nice, tight, puckered upper lip!!! WTG Nika!!!

    Gosh, I can hardly stand that little sideways glance up at you! Too precious for words! :)

  4. Wow, that's awesome. We still can't convince our kiddo to use the straw. Maybe she will just surprise us one day too!

  5. Way to go Nika!!! She looks so grown up in that picture :). She is precious!

  6. ROFL I'm pretty sure that is what kids are for... to make a fool of their parents! LOL

  7. That is a great job! She is doing so good! And I know all about being made a fool of! Koby must think it's his job!

  8. Love the!!! I am running out to get a couple more ASAP. He did great today too! Love those drinking noises in the video! She is SO cute! And yes, we would love to have a drinking party sometime!

  9. Nika ROCKS!!! That's so great! Ethan still makes a mess with his Nuby straw cup. What I would give for lip closure...

    Is her hair in pigtails? I can't tell, but she looks so grown up!!!

  10. That is funny!! Of course she had to show off in front of somebody!!