Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Baby Boot Camp

Baby Boot Camp (also known as "our home") was lovingly and humorously coined by my mother-in-law and myself during Matthew's 1st year in life. Here's how it came to be.

Shortly after Matthew was born, he was diagnosed with Down syndrome. The pulmonary hypertension he had cleared about 5 days after he was born and thankfully he did not have any major heart defects. Right before we left the hospital, we signed up for the First Steps program, which provides early intervention services in Missouri.

A month after bringing him home from the hospital, we already had a Physical Therapist (PT) and Developmental Therapist (DT) see him. He was still battling jaundice and his thyroid level was still in question, but being new parents, we wanted to maximize every wakeful moment with him. When he was almost 4 months old, we added an Occupational Therapist (OT) to the team and a Speech Therapist (ST) when he was 9 months old. They are all wonderful people and make such a great team, always on the ball with Matthew's developmental stages and loaded with helpful information and suggestions on how I could teach Matthew at home in between therapy visits. When something really interests me, I try to learn everything I can about it. So being the nerd that I am, I wanted to learn everything about Down syndrome and how I could teach Matthew. I made sure I had books and more books and DVDs including:

In my opinion, these were all great reference materials, especially in between therapy visits. I remember referring to the Gross Motor Skills book a lot when Matthew was younger, since gross motor skills are really the first to develop and work on. I'd have the book out on the living room floor and Matthew next to me as I tried to help him learn the skills he was ready for or almost ready for. And so while my husband went to work in an office, most my days were spent at Baby Boot Camp.

We don't refer to our home as Baby Boot Camp these days anymore. Toddler Camp maybe? We haven't come up with a new name yet. In any case, here's a video of Matthew's first belly crawl - one of the outstanding achievements at Baby Boot Camp. He was just over a year old.


rickismom said...

In addition to the above referances, get the issues and information series put out by Down's ed:
and many are free online today:

Also good is this (downloadable):

rickismom said...

Sorry, see that you have them all listed on your sidebar! Lots of luck, you certainly have the best info going for you!

Ria said...

Rickismom, Thanks for the additional links. I added the downsed link as I didn't have that one yet. Feel free to share more references if I'm missing any good ones. I'm always open to improving the resources I provide on my blog.

Monica said...

Ria, Matthew is a very lucky boy to have such a hard working mommy!!!! He is beautiful!!!! Can't wait to read more about you all!!! Blessings~