Milestone Achiever of the Month
Milestones help measure the healthy development of a child. When a child continues to miss a milestone, Bryan Pediatric Rehab Services is here to help. Our team of physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech language pathologists provide children and their families with guidance, therapies and steps to reach their milestones. Not only that we find a way to make reaching milestones fun for each child! Each month we celebrate a patient that has made great strides due to their efforts and the care and support of our therapists.
At 12 months old, Jace was still not crawling, sitting up, pulling to stand up or taking any steps, so he began working with a Bryan physical therapist.
In January he was diagnosed with Arnold Chiari Malformation Type 1, but it is very mild. This is a condition in which brain tissue extends into the spinal canal. It occurs when part of the skull is misshapen, pressing the brain downward. Symptoms can include balance problems, poor hand coordination and dizziness.
Now at 16 months old, Jace can get up on his hands and knees, crawl, squat down and pick up a toy, sit up, balance and stand on his own for 10 seconds, and walk with one hand held for up to five feet. He is also walking along surfaces independently and taking a few steps without support.
During therapy Jace loves playing with the Scout toy, balls and bubbles.
Three-year-old Elias is finding his voice at Bryan Pediatric Rehabilitation. He was born with DiGeorge Syndrome which is caused by the deletion of a segment of chromosome 22. Symptoms include heart issues, specific facial features and developmental delays. At 14 months he was referred to speech therapy because he was not talking or attempting to babble.
As he made progress in play and interaction, he was still not imitating sounds. Next, he began physical therapy to strengthen his stomach muscles to support his speech, which made a huge difference. In occupational therapy he also works on his strength, specifically for fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
Elias is still working on sounds and vowels, he has found his voice with the help of his speech generating device. He understands very well and uses the device to communicate at home, school and therapy.
When Owynn started physical therapy he was unable to stand with his feet flat on the ground. Most of us naturally walk putting our heel down first then our toe. His toe walking was due to extreme tightness in his Achilles tendons. Now Owynn is making progress using his whole foot in a heel to toe pattern.
He’s working hard in therapy, but there’s also time to play. Some of his favorite things are the platform swing, playing on the Wii and Uno Attack.
Three-year-old Collin works with a Bryan physical therapist, speech language pathologist and occupational therapist.
When Collin started physical therapy at 13 months old, he was unable to sit or crawl and tired out quickly. Now Collin is running all over, up and down stairs with lots of energy. Collin is currently working on jumping, kicking a ball and riding a trike.
Collin already knew signs for communication when he first started speech therapy at Bryan, but had less than 25 spoken words. His therapy initially focused on increasing his verbal and sign language together. Now Collin is speaking in words, phrases and short sentences, while continuing to use sign language as well. One of his favorite activities in therapy is to sing songs and e loves the Wheels on the Bus, Baby Shark and the ABC’s.
Collin continues to work hard each day in therapy and at home. He has some amazing support at home, and his best friend/sister, Eden, is always pushing him to work harder and learn more!
Meet Libby. She works with a Bryan physical therapist, occupational therapist and speech language pathologist. We celebrate Libby as she increases her vocabulary and continues to strengthen her core. For Halloween, Libby dressed up as Rainbow Brite’s sidekick Twink, which is very fitting because she is an adorable ball of sweetness and silliness. Some of her favorite activities in therapy include singing songs, walking on the treadmill and climbing onto everything.
Aviana is on a roll! Two months ago she was timid and did not want anything to do with standing. The only walking she did was to get back to her mama, and that was only if someone helped her. Now she’s walking all by herself!
Aviana loves to play! Kitchen is her favorite, but she also likes blocks and farm animals.
She really likes her physical therapist and even brought her a shirt for National Physical Therapy Month. With the progress she’s making, she’ll soon reach her goals and complete physical therapy. Great work Aviana!
Leah Jo Gillispie
"Leah does tremendously well and continues to make progress weekly," says Bryan speech language pathologist Ashley Yates. This month we celebrate her progress as our Milestone Achiever. Leah was 2 years and 3 months old when she had her first session with Ashley. At that time, she could only make typical vowel sounds and did not imitate simple sound combinations or words. Now Leah is almost four years old and speaking in sentences.
After her first few sessions, it was clear she had Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS). This is a motor speech disorder that does not allow messages to get from the child's brain to the mouth, but the child knows what they want to say. Often times we do not know why children have CAS because nothing shows up on an MRI or CT scan. Although it is a very common diagnosis in children with brain injuries or genetic conditions, this is not the case with Leah, she is a typically developing child in all other areas.
Leah is very motivated during sessions and loves to play. Her therapist utilizes a very structured approach to her treatment but mixes it up with play so she gets to have fun. Her parents have done a great job of working with her at home. Therapy is instrumental to progress, but the family plays a huge role in getting the child to the therapy sessions and with any home program!
Annabelle was born at 31 weeks and began therapy shortly after leaving the NICU to work on advancing her bottle feeding skills. As she grows, she continues therapy to improve her feeding and swallowing of more age appropriate food textures and drinks. She is able to get most of her nutrition needs, but uses Boost drinks to help meet these needs due to limited intake of solid foods.
Although, she has a great time throwing food on the floor. We are working on keeping the food on the table so she can learn more about food by being able to look, touch and smell it!
Anai Ortega Garcia
Three-year-old Anai was born at 25 weeks and stayed in the Bryan NICU for over three months. She works with Bryan physical therapist Brandy Escamilla and occupational therapist Kindra Fox. We celebrate with Anai as she improves her strength, balance and coordination. Her favorite activities in therapy are playing with the toy food and kitchen set, bubbles and dolls.
Three-year-old Ezekiel works with Bryan physical therapist, Brandy Escamilla. We celebrate with Ezekiel as he improves his strength, balance and coordination. His favorite activities in therapy are playing with potato heads, cars and bubbles.
Kasen is a twin and a former Bryan NICU baby born at 36 weeks gestation. At 21 months, Kasen had very few consonant sounds and only one intelligible word. His limited vocabulary made it difficult to communicate basic wants and needs to his parents. After his evaluation he began working with Bryan speech pathologists, Ashley Yates and Julie McDaniel. They not only work with Kasen, but also teach his mother how to model for him and encourage the use of his words. Kasen's therapy happens while he plays and he loves to play with animals, cars, bubbles and playdough. His increase in vocabulary has decreased some of his communication frustrations.
Xavier is an energetic young man who is always smiling. His occupational therapist, Kindra Fox, helps him improve his focus, coordination and organization. Kindra shows Xavier full body exercises to exert just enough energy so he is able to sit at a table and focus. These exercises help with his attention, strengthen his core for good posture and develop gross motor skills. To improve fine motor skills, Xavier uses tweezers to place small pom poms into the mouth of a tennis ball. Xavier loves to make up games and have competitions during therapy.
Jaylee was a former Bryan NICU baby born at 29 weeks gestation. After leaving the NICU she struggled taking in adequate nourishment by her bottle. The placement of a feeding tube has helped her get the necessary nutrition and calories she needs to grow. Now she works with Bryan therapists Julie McDaniel, MS, CCC-SLP, and Stacey Anderson, OTR/L, CPST, to eat appropriate table foods.
Tyson’s physical, occupational and speech therapists help him improve his balance, develop his fine motor precision and increase his vocabulary skills. He works with Brandy Escamilla, PT, Kindra Fox, OT and Ashley Yates, SLP. This six-year-old knows how to have fun - making up silly stories and playing games like Pop the Pig, Candyland and Perfection.
Two-year-old Niam works with a Bryan physical therapist, NaTosha Siemek and speech pathologist, Julie McDaniel. We celebrate with Niam as he increases his vocabulary and improves his walking with greater speed and balance. His favorite activities in therapy are playing with cars and balls.