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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Little Milestones... Big Dreams

It's been awhile since I've highlighted Rebekah's latest accomplishments. Besides turning 3 on April 21st, Rebekah has gained some important skills in the last 2 months which give us more hope of what she may be able to do one day. Also, it has been a year since she has been admitted to a hospital! So we have had a pretty healthy year too.  And while these are all little milestones for a "typical" child, they are big dreams for us! And while there are some trisomy 18 kids that seem to do some of these things more on a typical developmental schedule, Rebekah is a vision of hope for those with trisomy children that have many defects and markers in utero. She has come a long way from her early prognosis, and she is definitely redefining "incompatible with life"! 

So please enjoy some pictures and videos of Rebekah's latest accomplishments and know that there is hope for children with trisomy 18!
Right before her birthday in April, Rebekah starting pushing up to a standing position when supported. This was huge as every time we would put her feet to the floor, she would pull her feet up and just dangle.  We think all of the work daily in her stander has made a big difference.  Here is a video of her dancing with her Daddy:

Rebekah is really starting to interact with people and "explore" their faces when they talk to her. It is so sweet seeing her reach up and touch someone's face, or arm. She has also discovered she can reach up and pull her own hair!  Here she is with our dear friend, Jeannette, mother to T-18 angel, Caleb.
In May, Rebekah started preschool! Here she is on her first day jumping right in at circle time and hitting the big mac button on cue. She is attending a special needs school designed for kids just like her. There are a maximum of 6 kids in her room, and there is a teacher, an aide, and a nurse also in the room. Although she only spent 1 month at school before summer break, it gave us an idea of what we want to do in the fall and we intend to have her continue. The staff was wonderful to her and she gets exposed to so much more than what we can do here at home.
Rebekah in her first gait trainer. We got her to take a step with a lot of coaxing. Hopefully next year at school she will progress and begin to stand/take steps on her own. I tried videotaping her taking a step in it, but she wouldn't perform, of course! She did take a double-step leap though! You can see a video of her here:

Here is her latest "trick", fresh off the press! Rebekah was born with classic trisomy 18 clenched fists and indwelling thumbs. Her fingers are short and her thumbs are webbed which make them extra short. The muscles in her hands are still extremely weak and the clenched fists/short digits contributed to inability for Rebekah to grasp and use her hands in a useful manner besides just batting at toys. Just the other day, Rebekah finally got a handle at using her hands to knock away/push a cloth off her face. In the past, she would just let it stay on her head, or she would shake her head back-and-forth until the cloth would fall away. We have been thrilled with this new skill, because her development depends on her ability to be able to hold on to things. This gets us a step closer! And I believe once Rebekah masters this task, she will start developing intellectually at a faster rate than she has been. We have spent the last few days making her repeat this task over and over again, making sure it isn't a fluke. She has done it every single time! And, she is getting a little tired of us putting stuff on her face now. :-)


  1. What a cutie! And yes, she definitely has been a rock and an inspiration for me.

  2. She's got that DOWN! Congrats on a huge "inchstone". Each one builds toward the next thing. I can't wait to see what she does next. She has such a sweet face.