An occupational therapist paid us a little visit yesterday to evaluate Nolan. Our primary concern was that he would gag on any type of table food (puffs, stage 3 foods, etc). She had me put a puff in his mouth and we all watched the second that it hit his tongue, he gagged. Then she told me to try putting it up against one of his cheeks, and to our amazement, he worked it around with his tongue, used his front gums to chew and then he swallowed it...no gagging. We all cheered, and he smiled. Joyce (the OT) explained that a baby's gag reflex starts in the middle of the tongue rather than the back of the throat, so that they don't choke...God's little choke prevention method. The more and more they work that gag mechanism, the further back in the mouth the gag reflex it moves. Pretty amazing. By putting the puff in his cheeks, it allows him to be in control of the gag reflex, by the puff not being put directly on the gag reflex. Because he was chewing some, she had us try some banana to see how he'd do with it. He did the same thing, worked it with his tongue chewed it with his gums and down it went. Joyce was so pleased, and saw no reason for Nolan to need OT as well as physical therapy. So, that's a praise.
Joyce was one of the therapists who also came when Nolan was 5 months old to do his initial evaluation. She couldn't believe how much he had changed and grown. Her initial comment was, (in a squealy voice) "Well look at you big boy!" She made sure to let me know that if we had any other concerns to let her know, but that he looked good. Boy did I need that after the optho appointment on Thursday.