Lukas eats pears!

In: Home Update|Pictures|Videos

23 Dec 2010

Lukas has had a lot going on lately!  Today, he had his first few bites of baby food!  His speech therapist helped us to give it to him so that it was as successful as possible.  Lukas wasn’t quite sure what it was or what he was supposed to do with it, but he definitely made some attempts to deal with it and swallow, which is very encouraging! He didn’t spit any of it out and he didn’t really seem to mind it too much, either.  You can see our first attempt in the video below!  We’re going to try to feed him a little bit, once a day and help him build the skills to eat more.

Over the past month, we’ve also discovered that the source of his fussiness and discomfort was likely nothing to do with teething or reflux, but with muscle spasticity.  It took us awhile to figure out that the increasing tension in his legs and arms was not voluntary, but actually a result of the brain damage to the motor areas of his brain and that it was pretty uncomfortable for him.  Once we realized this, we took him to see the neurologist, who promptly put him on a very small dose of Valium.  This is a common medication given for spasticity, and also seizures, but drowsiness is one common side effect.  We were worried that it may relax his muscles, but make him too sleepy to really function.  Fortunately, it seems to be making an amazing difference for him.  His nightly crying spells are completely gone and he has started kicking his legs and talking again, which he hadn’t really done for about a month.  He also doesn’t seem too sleepy.  He gets pretty drowsy right after we give him the medicine, but it doesn’t seem to bother him for most of the day.  He also seems like he is looking at things more and interacting with things more.  It seems all the tension in his muscles was distracting him too much to allow him to focus on anything else.

Meanwhile, we also had a visit to Lukas’ nephrologist recently.  He’s the doctor who monitors Lukas’ high blood pressure.  He took Lukas’ blood pressure and it was finally low enough for us to try taking him off of his medication.  He hasn’t had any of that medicine for a few weeks now and seems to be doing just fine.  We’ll see the doctor again in another few weeks and make sure that his blood pressure is staying low.  At this point, he is now on one seizure medication, one reflux medication, and one spasticity medication.  His reflux also seems to be slowly improving, so we should be able to take him off of that one before too long as well.

Early Intervention services have also recently brought in a vision specialist to work with Lukas.  She told us that Lukas seems to have cortical visual impairment, also known as CVI.  This basically means that his eyes are structurally fine, but his brain is not necessarily processing all that he sees.  Kids with CVI share some common characteristics, like preferring high-contrast or simple images, preferring light, bright colors (like red and yellow), and shiny objects.  They also tend to not see things very far away, tend to prefer looking in one direction, and tend to prefer familiar objects.  Lukas does all of these things.  The good news is that it can get better as the brain grows and reorganizes itself.  Of course, we have no way of knowing how well he can see now or how much better it might get, but we are hopeful.  The vision specialist gave us some ideas of what we can do to keep helping him develop his vision.  She was also very encouraged by how much he does seem to see, so all in all it’s a positive situation.

Lukas is getting to be so big and so handsome!  He’s wearing 9 month old clothes these days, though he just made seven months.  He weighs about 18 pounds now too!  We are so encouraged with all of the progress we’ve seen lately and Lukas continues to do great with his physical therapy as well.  He is getting good at holding his head up and is learning to support his trunk more too.  As you can see from the pictures below, he may just be the cutest little baby ever!  Enjoy!

Lukas loves his bath these days! He's so relaxed, he often even falls asleep!

Hanging out at home

Looking cute

Little Bear in the yard

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4 Responses to Lukas eats pears!



December 26th, 2010 at 11:18 am

Hello and congrats from Tennessee! What wonderful news your last several posts have held. I am happy for each of you. I spoke with Amber yesterday and mentioned a book a neighbor of mine read very recently and which impressed and amazed her. In case you haven’t run across this book and are interested in its presentations about the plasticity of our brains, the book is THE BRAIN THAT CHANGES ITSELF by Norman Doidge, MD. My neighbor also said that this book was the basis for the special on PBS–The Brain Fitness Program.
Here’s to a fabulous 2011 for all~Shanti



January 10th, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Thanks for the update, Aubri! Glad to hear that Lukas’ muscle spasms are decreasing with the new medication. He is so adorable in the latest pix that you posted! We just returned from Germany a few days ago and I have a little cold (or allergies from all the rain?) but I’d love to come by for a visit sometime next week or so when you are free. Happy New Year!


G. P. Skratz

January 15th, 2011 at 7:57 am

Great update, great news, great pics! Thanks much for it, & may the New Year bring ever more growth, health & happiness! You’re a truly inspiring family: keep it up!



February 21st, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Thanks for the comment and the recommendation. We actually have read that book and find it to be very inspiring and hopeful!

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This blog is all about the beautiful Lukas Timothy Tallent.

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