Thursday, November 5, 2009

His Teeth are Clean

For much of his life, Elijah has been unable to bring things to his mouth. He can get his hands in his mouth (which is where they live), but getting an object in his mouth is another story. He would do it once in a great while, but the skill hasn't solidified...until now. Andy has been working with Elijah to try to teach him how to brush his teeth...and Elijah is getting it!

This is amazing because it's been hard for Elijah to hold onto anything for an extended period of time. The vibration from the toothbrush seems to remind his hand that he needs to hold onto it. It may not seem like much to some, but this is a HUGE breakthrough!

We ordered Elijah a z-vibe with attachments and are waiting for it to arrive on our doorstep. A z-vibe is a tool sometimes used by speech therapists to awaken, strengthen, and de-sensitize the mouth. I'm so excited to see if the vibration with the z-vibe will help motivate Elijah to feed himself. I see some amazing things on the horizon! I feel like perhaps we're at the cusp of something really fantastic.

---By the way, thanks for all of the nice comments on my last post! Sometimes it's hard to post things that are so raw and real, but I'm always glad when I don't sugarcoat over the difficult times. Knowing that others can relate and offer support means the world to me.


Kathy Lausted said...

How adorable! He's getting there. He'll master it soon. Well, maybe one side was brushed more than the other:) but that's how we learn.

Love your videos and pictures!!

Love you, MomGramKat

Jennifer Thayer said...

Hi there!
What a great video! Wow, does he remind me of my Roa! I hope that Roa is able to control his toothbrush like that someday. Elijah give me hope!
Thank you for sharing your life with the world. Jennifer

Anonymous said...

we are so proud of him! HAD to show this to MrB, lol. He says he reminds him so much of LilB. such a handsome guy. we think we're going to have to get a vibrating toothbrush now, lol

Lisa said...

Mom- So I should've titled it "one side of his mouth is clean"? ;) And are you trying to hint that I should post more videos and pictures? Love ya, Lease

Hi Jennifer! I'm so glad that Elijah can give you some hope. I believe anything is possible when it comes to our kiddos... the brain's ability to heal is a remarkable thing. And Thank You for sharing your life with the world too!

Miss Burb- Thanks so much! Oooh, you definitely need to get LilB a vibrating toothbrush! Elijah hated having his teeth brushed before he had his vibrating one, so it made a world of difference for us. Hopefully it'll do the same for LilB!!!

Anonymous said...

He looks really good! Besides the great hand-action, his posture is really good, esp for having his feet dangle. He rotated to the right very well. I wonder if he might do even better with is feet supported. Or, standing with his L elbow on the sink-counter (if he is tall enough).

A wonderful accomplishment - well worth a feature film post! Congrats, Elijah! Barbara

Aimee said...

I received your website from a UCG homeschooler in Texas who met you at the Feast. My son has major health problems so I can relate to how BIG these breakthroughs can be. Keep up the good work in researching, trying, seeking, and knocking, to find things to improve your son's life! I feel medical doctors are not as proactive as parents. As parents, it's crucial to take our children's health care beyond what a medical doctor can provide. Keep up the great work!

-Aimee McNally
San Jose, CA

kate hopper said...

He is adorable. And how wonderful!
He WILL master it soon! (And your posts that are raw and real are so important, Lisa.)

Lisa said...

Thanks Barbara! Any ideas on how we could support his feet? He's not tall enough to rest his arm on the counter (maybe a stool would work?). I'd like to keep the toothbrushing in the bathroom and I don't have any ideas on how I could have his feet supported. He tends to keep his feet straight, even when there is something there to support them...I just haven't come up with anything and wondered if you had any ideas... (?)

Hi Aimee!- Thanks so much! So nice to "meet" you! Glad you found me. I'll contact you on your blog soon (right now I need to go to bed!) :)

Kate- Thanks so much for the cheers and for the encouragement to write what I'm really feeling. It's hard to be so open sometimes, it's good to hear I'm not the only one who finds it important.

Anonymous said...

The stool is a good idea if you choose to try standing at the sink. I am with ya on keeping it in the bathroom. Even if he is not using a potty yet, a potty chair might the correct size for him to sit on and allow his feet to be on the floor.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'feet straight' but if you mean pointed - like a is better for children to stand on their whole foot/sole. I'm sure you have a PT you are working with on that (among other things).

Again, this is a great accomplishment. Barbara

Lisa said...

Hi Barbara, Thanks so much for taking the time to give me some advice. I love the potty chair idea...we're not potty training yet, but I've been thinking about getting a potty chair to get him accustomed to the idea...even if he's not yet 100% ready. Your idea would accomplish two goals at once. (As long as he doesn't think it's okay to go potty and brush his teeth at the same time! lol).

I didn't explain the "feet straight" very well. What I meant...he tends to hold his legs out parallel to the ground when he's sitting. So, even if he has foot support, he doesn't always use it and just kicks and rubs his feet together (his feet are almost always moving). He seems to be doing this less, however, and he's not doing it in the video. When he does use the support, though, he does keep his feet flat on the ground...usually. ;) I hope that makes more sense.

So, I'm thinking a stool or a potty chair or a combination of both. Thanks so much, Barbara, for the pat on the back and the advice. :) I really appreciate it!

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