It's been a busy time (traveling/seminaring, and a medical condition which hopefully has passed) - sorry it's over a month since the last update.
Little Bella is getting more delightful by the week! But she's not developing in terms of language and walking, though she's quite intelligent in other ways. The diagnosis? Maybe a form of Dyspraxia (more on that below). So Amanda is taking her to special therapy groups, and we have to teach her words with basic sign language. She learns some things pretty well: 'Arms up', 'Blow us a kiss!' 'Bye bye' - and responds appropriately. But she only takes a couple of steps, and apart from 'Dada' has very few distinct sounds.
Yesterday I took Millie and Bella for a walk to see 'Millie's Bridge' - part of the new freeway being built from Ringwood to Frankston. It's Millie's Bridge because her dad says he's taking her on the new road to the beach (22 minutes, vs. about 50 minutes in non-peak times now). Bella looked up every 100 metres or so and smiled at me - gorgeous little one.
Bella has her own little corners in our lounge room where she gravitates to play with familiar toys - books in one place, some round blocks she puts into grooves in another. She loves familiar things.
Millie may be attending a creche while her mum is counselling this Friday afternoon. We all have contingency plans ready! Whenever her mum and/or grandma goes out she asks the remaining adult/s: 'Will you mind me?' She has full sentences and lots of words: even 'diarrhoea' pronounced perfectly this morning (yes, she's been ill the last couple of days). She has the best conversations on the telephone of any three-year old we've known. And she says cutely about her behavior when visitors are about to come: 'I mightn't snatch!' (which refers to how her mum is training her to play nicely with other children!)
Here's more about dyspraxia:
What is Dyspraxia?
Dyspraxia is generally recognised to be an impairment or immaturity of the organisation of movement. Associated with this may be problems of language, perception and thought. Other names for dyspraxic include Clumsy Child Syndrome; Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD); Minimal Brain Dysfunction: Motor learning Difficulty; and Pereceptuo-motor Dysfunction.
What causes Dyspraxia?
For the majority of those with the condition, there is no known cause. Current research suggests that it is due to an immaturity of neurone development in the brain rather than to brain damage. People with dyspraxia have no clinical neurological abnormality to explain their condition.
How would I recognise a child with Dyspraxia?
The pre-school child
* Is late in reaching milestones e.g. rolling over, sitting, standing, walking, and speaking
* May not be able to run, hop, jump, or catch or kick a ball although their peers can do so
* Has difficulty in keeping friends; or judging how to behave in company
* Has little understanding of concepts such as 'in', 'on', 'in front of' etc
* Has difficulty in walking up and down stairs
* Poor at dressing
* Slow and hesitant in most actions
* Appears not to be able to learn anything instinctively but must be taught skills
* Falls over frequently
(From http://www.dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk/info/pr_questions.php )
Shalom! Rowland Croucher
'It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so' (Mark Twain)