In continuation of her progress at 6 months, we introduced pureed foods to Belle. The trick was getting her used to a flattened spoon. We had her get the puree off the spoon and keep it in her mouth and then swallow. She did a good job. We are teaching Belle to chew and swallow and to not push her food back out of her mouth with her tongue. But she kept pushing her food out with her tongue. At this point, I took some of the puree in a little syringe and inserted the food into the back of her mouth on both sides of her jaw to teach her to chew and swallow. I think she really liked the carrots because this worked and she did a great job with this method.
As I mentioned earlier, children with Down syndrome have a tendency to carry their tongue in a forward position which presents as an enlarged tongue in the tonsil area. This is a common characteristic and causes problems with feeding and speech clarity. With the program plan we received from our TalkTools therapist, Whitney, we are learning to help Belle fight that instinct, so she can chew and swallow her food like normal. We are so proud of the progress she is making and enjoy seeing the continued progression. Unconditional love really has a whole new meaning when it comes to helping and learning with our daughter.