A while ago I posted about Little Miss Adorable’s newest words and our struggles in Speech and Language Therapy. (Little Miss Adorable, Speech, Language and Swear Words and Toddler Speech, Language and Self Defense)
Little Miss Adorable has Prader-Willi Syndrome and the very low muscle tone associated with it. All Little Miss Adorable’s muscles are floppy, including the muscles used for speech. Little Miss Adorable sees a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) to learn to speak, as well as an Occupational Therapist (OT) to help Little Miss Adorable develop her muscles. Normally an OT focuses on fine motor development, but Little Miss Adorable’s OT helps with fine and gross motor development. What’s the difference between fine and gross motor ability?
You shall see.
Little Miss Adorable is 2 ½ years old and cannot walk. She bum-shuffles her way through life, usually holding an armful of baby dolls. She gives them bottles, puts them to bed, changes their diapers and wipes their bums. She holds out the (pretend-used) baby wipe at me and says, “Eeeew! Stinky!” (Don’t ask where she learned that one from.)
If I try to support Little Miss Adorable in a standing position by holding her hips, she collapses like a wet noodle after a minute. She clearly has weakness in her gross (full body) muscles.
Little Miss Adorable’s fine motor ability is quite good – she can pick up tiny things in a classic pincher grip. She uses her fingers to dress her babies, change their diapers, pinch her brother, and pick her nose.
She does not need to work on her fine motor ability.
One morning I was busy and distracted while Little Miss Adorable was playing on the floor. She loves to bum shuffle her way around and empty things – baskets, bins, and cupboards are all emptied in the name of exploration.
She shuffled into the kitchen and started to go through the cupboards and drawers. The ones at her height are filled with craft supplies for the children, so I wasn’t too concerned.
Until I heard her call, “Mommy, pee-pee!”
Little Miss Adorable is not really potty trained, so I rushed in ready to scoop her up and put her on the potty. I rushed into the kitchen and paused.
There was Little Miss Adorable, sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor, holding her pants. She was sitting in the middle of a huge lake, that judging from the smell, was vinegar.
I picked Little Miss Adorable up. She was soaked, and smelt like pickles. There was the gallon jug of white vinegar, lying on its side. It was empty and the cap was off.
Did I mention Little Miss Adorable has very good fine motor ability?
Looks like her gross motor ability has improved, she pulled the full gallon jug of vinegar out of the cupboard all by herself.
Amazed, I looked at the mess and said, “Fuck.”
What did Little Miss Adorable say?
“Fuck,” she smiled proudly at her new word.
So why do I bother going to Speech and Occupational Therapy? We’re doing damn fine on our own.