Posts Tagged ‘speech therapy’

Speech Therapy and hypermobility.

Written by Emma. Posted in DDH, Erin and DDH

Erin’s diagnosis of hyper-mobility confirmed to us what we already knew. I am not one for labels, but accept that for Erin pulling all the strands together helps. One of the biggest chicken and eggs for us is what came first the hyper-mobility or the DDH. Did the hip dislocate after birth due to her weak muscles or was it missed. It was definitely missed from the nine month check and she had all the symptoms and signs by then but whether it was from birth is just an unknown.

However one aspect of Erin’s early days and birth was how sleepy she was. Erin was and always has been a sleeper. This was a revelation to us as her brother and sister had not slept like she does. When Chloe was born I struggled to breastfeed, it was hell, I was sore had mastitis and it hurt. Yet we got there – and once sorted I loved feeding her. I fed until about 8 months and was so pleased that I had done so. Dylan was easier to feed – I knew what I was doing and again we soon settled to a feeding routine and I fed again for about the same length of time. Erin however had zero interest. I tried, I cried and suffered the baby blues as a result. I never experienced the blues with the older two and whallop it hit me hard with Erin. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t feed her. Erin lost too much weight and I was told it was hospital or topping up. Even a bottle feed would take over an hour, only for her to throw most of it back up.

Fast forward two years and she was slow to speak. I know she is bright, she understands and follows instructions. Yet she couldn’t get her words out. We started speech therapy a few months ago and at Erin’s initial appointment we discussed how due to the spica she wasn’t experiencing the world around her in a tactile way, her limited mobility would obviously have an effect on her language development. This development was also linked to the hyper-mobility which was suspected but not diagnosed at that stage. Basically the tongue is a muscle and Erin’s was weaker therefore she found it hard.

Erin now talks but the clarity goes when she attempts longer sentences. Our role as parents is to model, we repeat what Erin says but it is important not to force her to repeat us. We just need to model the sounds.

The second thing we need to do is extend Erin’s vocabulary so if she talks to us in a very short sentence we extend the sentence by adding in more details for. Again if she copies great. We have noticed a difference since doing this and last weeks appointment recognised an improvement which is really pleasing. With your third child it’s easy to take things for granted, we are busy we have so much going on with the older two, but making sure we all support Erin’s language development is paramount.

Next challenge is potty training now we are out of spica!

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Developmental milestones for a toddler in hip spica #DDH

Written by Emma. Posted in DDH, Education, Erin and DDH

Watching your precious son / daughter growing up has to be one of the best privileges that there is.  I am enjoying my time with Erin so much at the moment and as she is my third (and final!) I try to savour each milestone.

Milestones have meant something different to me this time though.  With Chloe I rushed her on to each new stage, as an excited first time mum I was competitive with the textbooks and baby magazines I devoured. I measured her progress and deemed that yes I had a physically and intellectually gifted daughter!  I ticked off the age she sat, walked, babbled, jumped and could balance three blocks on top of each other.  When the health visitors appeared for reviews I was never worried, I made Chloe perform these tasks expecting the health visitor to call Mensa there and then to announce a new child prodigy.

I was a little more laid back with Dylan – he was much later to walk (15mths) but I was never concerned and he met all his milestones at pretty much age related stages.  With both Chloe and Dylan I have loved the age 2-3 it is such an exciting time, with speech developing and physical capabilities changing weekly if not daily.  The terrible two’s were not so bad, Chloe was capable of throwing a great tantrum and once launched a door stop across the room but generally they could be avoided.  Dylan was a contented toddler and was happy doing his thing.

Yet with Erin those milestones have not come so easily, reluctant to ever weight bear or attempt to walk she never hit that milestone like her peers at nursery.  Obviously we now know that her dislocated hip was causing her those problems. Yet that wasn’t where it ended, Erin’s speech was slow to develop but as a wise speech therapist told me, language is learnt through experiences and Erin’s experiences have been limited due to her mobility restrictions.  The spica cast not only bound Erin’s body but metaphorically it bound Erin’s vocabularly at the same time.

The last 5 weeks since Erin has been walking once again has seen her development go into overdrive.  It has been wonderful to see her physical and emotional development really take off.  She is now talking in sentences that can be understood by those who spend time with her, she giggles, she finds things funny and she dances.

Erin is hitting the milestones later than the books say but nevertheless she is hitting them.  I am sad that this development will be on another temporary hold over the next two months as she goes back into spica but I now know that when that cast comes off she will again go into overdrive.

Having a child in spica is tough and it does affect them in more ways than the physical mobility.  This is an area that I don’t think is recognise and acknowleged by those taking care of Erin’s physical needs. Doctors, nurses etc all recognise the physical but not the emotional impact.

However this video shows that the milestones do come and that your child won’t be held back forever.


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