As I understand it, Developmental Special Instruction (DSI) therapy is to help Sadie operate and function at her optimal level in her environment. Because of her sensitivity to sensory input, I imagine this therapy will help with regulating herself and knowing when to stop crying if she's tired, if the pain is gone, or if whatever is bothering her has stopped. Really though...I have no idea what this therapy is. So, I went to my trusty friend, the internet, to see if I could find out more about it!
This is how Arizona defines DSI:
• designing learning environments and activities that promote the child's acquisition
of skills in a variety of developmental areas;
• curriculum planning, including the planned interaction of personnel, materials, and
time and space that leads to achieving the outcomes in the child's IFSP;
• providing information, skills, and support to families, related to enhancing skill
development by the child; and
• working with the child to enhance the child's development.
So, I was right. DSI is supposed to help us perform and function as a family, with specialized help for Sadie so that her development stays on track ie. sleeping well, getting enough play/floor time, self-soothing techniques, etc.
We met our DSI therapist last week, Claudia, she came by and filled out some forms, talked about Sadie's goals, and gave me a lecture about punctuality and responsibility or I will be booted from the program (she obviously has NO IDEA who she's talking too!) She agreed to let me take pictures and laughed when I told her we're blogging Sadie's progress for the world to see (again...NOOOOO idea!). She explained to me that DSI is basically play therapy and that we'll be doing a lot of tummy time and floor play and things. Great! But her job is also to support Sadie's other therapies and to help Sadie reach her goals.
She also helped me read our Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP), which is actually very similar to an IEP, for those of you in education, which I've seen about a million of. So, these are Sadie's goals over the next 6 months, so basically we want her doing all these things by Christmas.
1. Sadie will be able to take a bottle or sippie cup so parents can go out together. This will look like: Sadie will not choke or cough while feeding, she will take a pacifier to help calm down, or suck her thumb. (I think the goal here is to make her less dependent on ME and to give me a break!)
2. Sadie will be able to play with toys during playtime. This will look like: Sadie will hold a toy, shake and move it, look at the toy, and pass it from one hand to the other. Sadie will reach purposefully to get a toy and be able to let go of the toy to give to someone else. She will also not keep her hands in fists so often so she can use them to play with toys.
3. Sadie will roll during playtime. This will look like: Sadie will roll from her tummy to back, back to tummy, and roll to a toy or object she finds interesting.
4. Sadie will sit independently to play. This will look like: Sadie will sit independently and hold toys, she will have excellent head control and be able to turn and look in both directions.
5. Sadie will be able to put herself to sleep during naps. This will look like: Sadie will be able to sleep in her crib to take a nap and will go to sleep independently. (this one might be tough!)
Today, Sadie had her first DSI therapy with Claudia. It went pretty well. I don't know how helpful this therapy is because it seems like the same stuff I do at home with her. But, maybe as she progresses it'll get better. And also, it forces us to do it! So, here are some pictures and explanations of Sadie's DSI with Claudia:
First she got Sadie to hold on to a link.
Then because Sadie has a death grip/fist, Claudia was able to pull the link and Sadie would start to roll over.
She would pull her all the way over until she was on her tummy. Sadie DID NOT like this one bit!!
She also did a lot of trying to get Sadie to grab, reach out for, bat, feel toys. Since the dog is Sadie's favorite, we used that one mostly. She started to do it once we got her calmed down after all the tummy time! (we used Brian's trick and gave her a big "YAY!!!" when she did what we wanted)
Then we practiced some sitting.
Sadie wasn't having this at all! haha Poor baby!
Then we did some tummy time on the yoga ball, because she can't push herself and Claudia said it would help with the relaxing her legs. Sadie did okay with this, she screamed and drooled quite a bit, but I'll spare you those pictures and just post the pleasant ones!
Sadie is doing such a good job here!!
So, that's pretty much how it went. It was hard work, but Sadie did a good job. I will continue to work with Sadie on the same things Claudia did. And I'm even going to try to do it roughly the same time of day, just to keep with our schedule. I showed her what Sadie does with a pacifier and how she'll suck on it a little if I squeeze her cheeks, she encouraged me to keep doing that. She also said to try using the nipple of the bottle as a pacifier to get her used to that for bottle feeding. Sadie will sort of suck on the bottle with some manipulation, but it comes out too fast for her or something because she gags and coughs on it. She doesn't really know how to control the flow of the milk in a bottle. We also talked about the bouncy seat vs. the swing. She said keep putting her in the swing for 10-15 minutes a day and let her cry a little if she needs to while I'm close and she can see or hear me. Maybe this will let her get used to it and we can use it more...after all, once she can sit unassisted she isn't really safe in the bouncer anymore. :(