A Day in the Life


Today as I walked out of Chiquitines at 5:00 the thought running through my head was “If everyday was like today, I might not ever leave this place.” After a week of introductions, evaluations, and rapport building with the kids, I felt like things just clicked into place today. My day went a little like this:

8:00 – Arrive at Chiquitines. Find a mat close enough to the office I work out of that I can easily grab toys for various children but not so close that I find myself with not only a baby on the small mat but three other children of various ages vying for enticing toys and a certain stranger’s attention.

8:30 – Work with Baby Number One, who is eight months old and not yet sitting independently, transitioning between sitting and laying and not purposefully reaching for toys or other objects in his environment.  Baby Number One has lots of excessive, non-purposeful movement so I stabilize his trunk and keep his arms positioned in midline so he can more easily explore his environment.

9:30 – Work with Baby Number Two, who is 9 months old and has a broken arm. Because his cast wraps around his torso and arm, Baby Number Two has virtually no sitting balance and spends most of his day reclined in a baby bouncer. We work on prop sitting with his non-casted arm and rolling from his back to his belly.

10:00 – Work with Baby Number Three followed by Baby Number Four. Baby Number Three was born six weeks pre-term and Baby Number Four was born 12 weeks pre-term. Both are just past their initial due dates now and benefit from therapy focusing on midline positioning, head control while laying on their stomachs and tracking objects and sounds.

11:00 – Work with Baby Number Five, a little tike who is 16 months old and has serious delays in gross motor (walking, kicking, reaching), fine motor (grasping, releasing, pointing) and play skills. He walks with his hands held, works on stacking blocks, grasping puzzle pieces with two fingers and imitating play activities.

12:00 – Work with Baby Number Six. This guy is one of my favorites! He is 22 months old and has yet to walk, feed himself, pass toys between hands, manipulate small objects with his fingers or babble. While previous sessions have focused on exploring his environment and increasing trunk control and strength, we spend this session focusing on self-feeding. With assistance, for the first time in his life he eats his lunch without it having to be fed to him spoonful by spoonful. His accuracy, grasp and oral-motor skills are most definitely delayed but I see great potential in him.

1:00 – Staff lunch in the cafeteria, followed by a meeting with Chiquitines’ doctor. As always, lunch is delicious. Afterwards, I explain to Dr. Victoria which children I have given priority for therapy services after their evaluations (there are 11 of them) and what I would like to work on with them. She gives me input about what she has noticed in their development, adds another baby to the priority list and we discuss the possibility of caregiver training for properly positioning the preemies.

2:00 – Work with Little Girl Number 1. As I mentioned in my last post Little Girl Number 1 is three years old, has cerebral palsy and is getting ready to be adopted by an American Family through the Gladney Center for Adoption. This session we focus on self-help skills to make her more independent with her daily routines.  Boy is she a cutie!!!

4:00 – Work with Babies Numbers Seven and Eight to measure their feet and lower legs for braces that will hopefully make it easier for them to walk. When I get home, I’ll send the measurements to Keely, a physical therapist with SuperKids who worked at Chiquitines last year and will be visiting again in a few short weeks. She will try to find a good match in donated supplies and bring them with her on the trip.

4:30 – Relax after a long day’s work, soothe a crying baby and take in the sights and sounds of a place that I can tell – even after just one week’s work – will always hold a special place in my heart.