Rohan at two (and a bit!) PART ONE

I can't believe this has taken me so long to write. I don't know why and it's become one of those things that the longer I leave, the harder it is to start. Poor Rohan, I'm pretty sure there were monthly updates about Theo, but Rohan's last one was when he was 18 months. He's now 25 or is it 26 months? Or just over two for most people.

But really he's still about a year old. We had a paediatrician appointment recently where we went to discuss his general progress and talk about all the different areas in his development. I still find it really difficult to tell people his age as when I say two there's still that vast gap in what people think a two year old looks like and should be doing, and what Rohan is doing. So really sometimes I do wonder if it would be easier to say he was about a year old, as that's where he is thereabouts developmentally.

He's been mobile for quite a while now, from perhaps the end of the Summer/ September time. What started as a sort of commando crawl soon progressed into pulling himself along with his hands in sitting position, to then learning to move by just using his legs. It's not exactly ideal and crawling would have perhaps been better but I'm so happy that he figured out a way to be mobile all on his own. As usual with Rohan, nothing is quite conventional! But since he's become a bum shuffler he's managed to be pretty speedy when he wants to, and seems content at his mode of travel. Since he's become more confident in moving he's now progressed to kneeling and getting himself into a high kneeling position too. From here he is desperately trying to pull himself up to standing when holding onto something like the sofa, coffee table or us! With the smallest amount of support he will do it, but his little legs tend to not be able to get into the right position to push himself up. I'm confident he'll get there soon though, in fact the other day whilst he was standing up against the sofa he managed to do a few sides steps and cruise his way along the sofa to reach his bottle. Since writing this a few weeks ago, he has now in fact learnt how to pull himself up to a stand! I was so surprised that just out of nowhere he showed us that he can move his feet and plant them again to get to where he wants. I only hope that he continues to progress as well as he has been, as I can't wait for him to be able to walk.

I do feel like we're still stuck in that limbo at the moment, where he can't really do that much when we're outside of the house. I guess that has a lot to do with the weather as it's pretty hard to put him down when the ground is so wet and muddy, but I'm hoping now that Spring and Summer has arrived and things are a bit drier he'll be able to explore outside a little more. I want him to be able to join in with outings with us a little more and be able to reach and interact with things like everyone else. Being stuck on the ground on your bum isn't really ideal! But I'm just happy really that he has progressed, and progressed pretty far actually. Sometimes just in the space of a few weeks he just seems to be so much more confident and happy on his feet and standing. He's now added pulling himself to a stand into his normal range of movements, and something we don't have to help him with, and every day actually he's getting more confident and pulling himself up onto more and more things. There's a little leg that is also keen to get climbing, but can't quite get far enough. We've also been working on climbing the stairs, which he's so close to mastering! I just love being able to see these little steps of progress, and each time we try it really seems as though he's getting better all the time.

We recently had a speech and language therapist come to assess Rohan when he was eating and drinking, and whilst all went well we're still on very basic levels. Most of his meals are puree, and whilst he is really good at feeding himself, and even eating finger food, the gagging and being sick is still an issue. I think for such a long time we were so concerned about his weight that we were really careful about what we gave him to eat as we didn't want anything to come back up. I realise now that we totally lost confidence in his weaning because of this and have stayed at the puree stage for way too long. We also got a bit reliant on just feeding him from a pouch, as he could hold and suck it himself, but really we needed to get him used to being fed or him feeding himself from a spoon and also chewing food.

I feel, hopefully that now we've realised this, and that his weight isn't such an issue anymore thankfully, that we can start building up all of our confidences and try and expand his range of food. He's pretty good with cooked and soft vegetables that he can hold and bite small amounts of, as well as soft fruits and he seems so much more interested in what we're eating too. He's also getting pretty good at communicating what he wants and doesn't want. We've been doing makaton for a while with him, and whilst he doesn't exactly do the signs all the time, he's definitely getting the understanding. So far we only do a few basic ones with him, such as water, food, more, finished and milk. He can do water, more and finished with a little prompting. We also do a few more around home life, such as bedtime, bath, car, home, play, toys, mummy, daddy, brother and cat (which is his favourite!) He's really trying to copy a few, but most of the time just ends up clapping when he attempts a sign, but for me that's showing that he's taking it in and knows he needs to do something with his hands and slowly they'll all start to become their own sign.

He definitely has his own way of telling you he wants something, recently he's taken to bringing you objects, such as his cup for water, or taking you to the cupboard where we keep his cereal and pouches when he's hungry. He laughs when you say the thing he wants, and discards or wont even look at the objects you are offering him if it's not what he wants. He's got some very specific noises for different things and can really tell me if he wants something. He does that thing though where he will be completely fine and happy with other people, then when he sees me he starts to whinge and ask for things. I guess it's because he knows that I'm the one who understands him the most and can give him what he wants. It's nice in a way but I'd much rather the whinging didn't happen!!

Every week we have a portage worker come for a session at home, where we are really focussing on decision making, attention and shared games. So far he's still very stubborn on what he wants to play with and his attention doesn't last too long on things he hasn't decided to play with, but like with most things he's still come for far. He's really good at taking turns and sharing items such as books with us, he likes to roll a ball or drum between us and is really great at asking for help. He loves shape sorters and toys that have a really good action and reward and especially anything that lights up or makes noise. A drum is still his favourite thing, as well as people's hands. We've been working so hard on giving him confidence for doing things on his own or with his own hands, as he gets really obsessed with making other people's hands drum or bang on things. We're still a little unsure as to why he does this, but it's getting a little better. One thing we did realise is that he really likes looking in the mirror or any reflective surface to watch himself do things. It's like he almost doesn't realise that his hands can do things until he can watch himself do it in his reflection, which sort of explains why he likes to use other people's hands to do things. He also likes to get children's hands to do things, which he doesn't quite understand that he can't go up to children and just grab their hands! It's all meant with the best intentions and a lot of the time is meant as a hello or let's play together, but more often than not is done a little too forcefully and the other children don't really get it! Poor things!

But one thing he is, is really social. He loves other people and other children, and when he spots someone around his own size he will make a beeline for them and wants to interact so much. He always gives people the biggest smiles, and it is definitely the first thing that people comment on. He's definitely not a shy child and there's always quite a lot of attention on him which he loves. I love watching his relationships with people and he can be really affectionate. He leans his head to side and loves to snuggle into your shoulder, we get great big open mouth kisses too and he loves being held and cuddled. We still have to rock him to sleep or near sleep a lot of the time, and for now I love this time where his body fits in so perfectly and he snuggles in. It's not often that he's still anymore, so any chances that I get like this I take! He will put his little arms up to ask to be picked up and really likes just sitting on my hip and watching everything. He started nursery back in September and really loves going there. I've seen his relationship with his key-worker really blossom too, and it's lovely to know that he has a bond with other people outside of the family. He has also just started at a childminder once a week, which gives me a good chunk of time to myself. I think it will be a really good thing for him, to be in a home environment with a group of children of ranging ages. The other children are all 'typical' for want of a better word, where as his nursery they all have additional needs of some degree. I think the mix of two will be so good for him and he's already thriving in both places. It's not been an easy journey to get him into both, but I'll save that for another time!

I think I'll leave it here for his little development and social update, and come back (sooner rather than later I hope!) for a second update on all things medical.

 Thanks for reading!