Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Life On The Ranch: Milkin' Time

Well, this time of year chores on the ranch increase quite a bit. Between cleaning stalls & barns from the winter months, animals are having babies which therefore means more goats to milk & babies to bottle.

At the moment, my sister is milking about 16 goats twice a day! It brings in quite a bit of milk for us, thankfully. Since we have the goat milk, we can then make cheese with it!

One of O's favorite times of day is milking the goats in the evening. Most of the time he's sleeping when the morning milking is done, so he gets very excited for the evening milking & feeding routine.

A few days ago he got a new "cowboy shirt," so he was quite excited to milk the goats in it and get his whip!

Waiting to go out the door to the "milking parlor."

One of the goats waiting to come in the gate to be milked.

The first round of goats up on the milk stand.

I'll also include a couple pictures from this morning out in the bunny barn.

The baby llama & puppy watching the cat (can't see him in this pic) eat his food.

One of the barn kitties wanting to snuggle with the baby bunny :).


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

World Down Syndrome Day - 3/21

Well, yesterday (3/21/11) was World Down Syndrome Day. I was going to put a blog post up yesterday, but didn't get to it.

So, today will have to do. World Down Syndrome Day is to raise awareness & promote acceptance of individuals with Down syndrome.

You may ask why 3/21 for WDSD? Well, it's pretty easy. People with Down syndrome have 3 copies of the 21st chromosome, instead of the usual 2.

Here are a couple photo montages put together for WDSD.

The first is one by the Down's Heart Group in the UK & the second one is put together by the International Down Syndrome Coalition For Life.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Does OMT ever NOT work?

When I put the post up from Andi Durkin in regards to her son's oral motor development achievement, I received a comment on that post,

OY...sometimes reading posts like this really bother me. I've been doing OM therapy on Olivia since she was five months old. I wanted to be as proactive as possible so I started early. Unfortunately breast feeding wasn't an option since she had acid reflux. I learned the proper way to have her take a bottle. I read James McDonald's book too and parrot back her sounds and would add one (I still do) - it hasn't made a whit of difference she still doesn't babble! She did do some good back and forth raspberries though. I've given her curcumin - and still no babbling. We started Beckman Oral Motor therapy when she was five months old - BUT she never really babbled. AND she doesn't make sounds properly at all. She most likely has apraxia having lost a few sounds. About four months ago I started Talk Tools therapy, so I'm cautiously optimistic.

It IS totally possible for a child with Down to have minimal oral motor issues despite what the parent does. So while all this is great there ARE NO GUARANTEES - the child is who the child is. This is the part that is so frustrating! A parent can do everything proactive and still the child can be non-verbal.
I wanted to comment on Csunshinegirl's comment. It is absolutely true that there are some children who will have additional challenges that just oral motor therapy won't address. I would never say that Oral Motor (Placement) Therapy will not work for a child. But, there may be situations where a lot more than OMT/OPT is needed. And a child could have good muscle tone in the mouth, yet still have speech issues.

Apraxia is one of those examples. While I wholeheartedly believe that O would be talking much, much better had we been able to start OMT at a very young age, I do know that he does seem to have an extra challenge. And that appears to be Apraxia of speech. I've discussed Apraxia a few times, but one main post on it can be seen here. OMT will help facilitate speech with Apraxia, but it may be slower going.

Other children may have other challenges as well: Inadequate nutrition & health. If their body is not functioning at it's best state, that will slow down their development. Surgeries & complicated health issues. If a child spends most of their life in and out of the hospital with surgeries or various health issues, this can also slow doe the speech process. Yes, you can work on OMT with your child through all that, but it isn't necessarily going to happen like it should because of medical procedures.

Then there are other kids who may have dual diagnoses of a whole slew of things: Autism, vaccine damage, hearing impairment, etc. That will also all slow down the speech production even if OMT is being used.

That's one thing which is also extremely important in proper speech production: good hearing. If the child has a hearing impairment or fluid in their ears, that will all hinder proper speech.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Another article on the "new test"

There came through yet another news article on the "less invasive" & "safer" test which is being developed to search for Down syndrome.

I'm not going to put the whole article here, but I will quote & comment on a few portions of it. You can view the full article here.

"He said the cheaper and quicker method of blood sampling rather than collecting fluid from the womb will encourage more couples to take the test and therefore slowly eradicate the disease."
Ummm, excuse me?! "Slowly eradicate the disease"? That's sick. Obviously this doctor does not believe babies with Down syndrome should live. How about "This test will be more accurate to be able to improve the health & cognition of babies with DS in the womb."

It's not like Down syndrome is some contagious disease that causes harm to the family the child is born into (besides something like that could be cured with the technology we have today most likely). It's just an extra chromosome. And the child had no control over how they were developed. That's all up to God.
"There is no cure, so this is a test for couples who want to know and prevent it, they are the ones who must decide on the fate of the pregnancy."
Disgusting. So, because a child may be born with an "imperfection" and something that can't be "cured," there's no reason to keep the life of that child?!

It would be better if these doctors spent their time trying to find a cure or at least something that would massively help babies with Down syndrome. But, no, they'd rather just get rid of people with Down syndrome all the way.

This makes my blood boil. Why? Because this "disease" they're trying to eradicate is associated with a human being. They are destroying a life.

My brother is a blessing. A huge blessing. Life without him would be minus the HUGE blessing he is.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mom's blood test can reveal Down syndrome

Here's yet more research on ways to prenatally detect Down syndrome. Just to add to the 92%+ abortion rate of prenatally diagnosed babies with Down syndrome. 

Completely disgusting!

Advancements in medicine have been amazing, but at some point the science seems to have usurped the need for human care.  A health science degree has become synonymous with cold, calculating reason as opposed to a common part of the human existence. With 1 in 691 babies being born with Down Syndrome in the US every year, it is important that detection no longer be the only goal for health science professionals. In devoting more study to those who live with Down Syndrome, the extra 21st chromosome could have a cure not solely be the cause for concern.

Ya know, I'd be all for prenatal testing if it was there strictly to help the unborn child. For the mother to be able to take supplements to be able to help that baby be born as healthy as possible. Because, the babies whose mothers do keep them when diagnosed prenatally, and take prenatal TNI supplements, are born with fewer heart defects & better muscle tone. So, they are already on a better start with better health. 

But, no, of course, the medical research isn't going for that


NEW YORK — Scientists in Europe report they were able to diagnose Down syndrome prenatally by giving a simple blood test to pregnant women, an approach that might one day help them avoid the more extensive procedure used now to detect the condition.

The preliminary report published online Sunday in the journal Nature Medicine is the latest of several recent studies that suggest scientists can spot Down syndrome through fetal DNA that has been shed into the mother's bloodstream.

Down syndrome, which results in cognitive delays, is caused by having an extra copy of a particular chromosome. Currently, pregnant women get blood tests and ultrasound to find out if the fetus is at risk for Down syndrome. For a firm diagnosis, doctors take a sample of amniotic fluid or the placenta.

Those sampling procedures involve a small risk of miscarriage. A reliable diagnostic blood test also could give an answer earlier than the standard tests.

Several research teams have published studies suggesting that analyzing the mother's blood can detect Down syndrome in a fetus. There's no commercial test available yet, but at least one company hopes to introduce one in the U.S. within about a year.

In the latest report, scientists in Cyprus, Greece and England said that in a blind test, they correctly identified 14 Down syndrome cases and 26 normal fetuses.

They said a bigger study is needed to confirm the usefulness of their approach.


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