Thursday, August 26, 2010

Defying the Odds

This morning I got a message from Josh's cousin Chad...

"Hey just started my first day in college and in my education class we have a couple of senior students that help the professors. One of the senior students has Down syndrome and she said that even though she has that difficulty, it doesn't stop her and she is almost done with finishing her major in art education and is on her way to becoming an art teacher. I love her in the class you know, because she has a great personality and brings great energy to the class, that I like. So I just wanted to let you know that because looking at Caydence, I just see her and have so much love you know and seeing that in the class room and you don't hear of that that often is just so great. So I wanted to just throw that to you and send my love.
Love Chad"

I was so glad he shared that with me. Many years ago people believed children with Down syndrome couldn't learn and were useless, so they just left them in their cribs and hid them away. Many were placed in institutions. In fact, in some countries, many children with Down syndrome are STILL placed in institutions.

As advances in medicine came about, like specialized surgeries, hearing aides, feeding tubes etc., doctors were able to help many of the problems that children with Down syndrome are born with and thus prolonging their life expectancy immensely. In 1929 the life expectancy of a person with Down syndrome was 9 years. Now a days it is not uncommon for individuals with Down syndrome to live into their 50's or even older. The oldest person with Down syndrome is currently around 82.

As these children with Down syndrome began to live longer, people began to realize that these children can learn, it just takes them a little longer. And with therapy and more individualized tutoring, they can learn even better. The capabilities of people with Down syndrome are still being discovered.

Unfortunately the problem plaguing most people with Down syndrome later in life now a days is alzheimer's. For some reason, yet to be discovered, people with Down syndrome are much more apt to develop alzheimer's. And they do it at an earlier age. Usually in their 40's and 50's. Hopefully they can figure this out in the future and a cure can be found.

I love hearing stories about individuals with Down syndrome who have defied the odds. So thanks for sharing Chad :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What's new wiff Caydee?!?!?!

Yesterday Caydence had her 1st echo and cardiology appointment since her surgery in December! She was amazingly good for her echo. Usually she squirms everywhere and doesn't stay still. But she was sooo good this time. She just laid on the bed and let the technician do her thing. I was amazed :) YAY Caydence. Then later we met with her cardiologist. She still has a very small VSD (hole between her bottom chambers). But it is very little, they can't even hear it with a stethoscope. It's something that they will keep an eye on. It may close on its own as she grows. If it doesn't close they will wait until she is much older to do another surgery.

Hopefully it will close :) She actually doesn't have to see the cardiologist and have another echo for a whole year!

The big question that we hear at least three times a week is "Is she eating yet?!?!?". I have to admit, this question drives Josh and I CRAZY!!!!!! She will eat someday, but it's gonna take some time. Like a year or two... or more! Progress is very very very slow!!!!

For a while Caydence was taking about an ounce of baby food a day. Then when we switched her to a toddler formula, she started throwing up a little which side tracked her and she didn't want to eat anymore. It doesn't help that she is getting 4 molars, 1 or 2 bottom teeth and a couple upper teeth all at once.

The good thing is that she is fine with putting things in her mouth. Mostly her fingers and toys. In order to make eating "fun". We have stopped trying to spoon feed her for awhile and instead just doing a lot of oral motor stimulation. Then before her baths, she gets to sit in her bumbo chair in the bathtub and play with her food. When she puts it in her mouth herself, she is ok, she still spits it out a bit, but the important thing right now is getting her exposed to tastes and not worrying about the amount she is taking in.

Since we've been using her new hip helpers, she has definitely been keeping her legs closer together. And the best part is that she doesn't seem to mind wearing them :)

Nothing much else is new. It is finally cooling off here in Wisco, so I'm looking forward to taking Caydence on walks again. On a side note, for those who haven't heard already... Caydence is going to be a big Sister! It was a little unexpected, but we are very excited :) I am currently 11 weeks and the two ultrasounds we've had so far, show that everything is looking good. The little bundle is due to make their appearance around in early March 2011. However since Caydence came 4 weeks early, who knows... maybe it will be in February, we'll just have to wait and see :) Stay Tuned <3

BTW - If anyone has an exercise ball they aren't using anymore, we could really use one for Caydence's therapy!

I'll leave you with a cute pic of Caydence and Daddy <3