It's been a while since I've done an update on Bean's developmental progress so here it goes...
Bean is a walker! He's finally spending about 90% of the time on his feet and is even doing well on uneven/textured surfaces. He is very pleased with himself and we couldn't be more proud of him.
With this milestone, Bean is also showing a much stronger interest in other areas of play and development. I am seeing signs of emerging speech skills. It seems that he is finally assigning appropriate meaning to "dada" and I have heard what I think is the start of "mama" a few times in the last couple of days. He is very interested in give-and-take communication with open sounds and he loves initiating games of peek-a-boo. This is huge for Bean.
He is also eating better since we started putting a compression vest on him for meals. We are borrowing one from his occupational therapist to try before buying. I'm sure we will be ordering one for him soon because it has been so successful. He's also doing something a bit silly at meal times. When he is hesitating to open his mouth, I firmly hold his left hand - has to be the left hand - and he opens his mouth as if he's a toy that is activated by pressing the button/hand. It's a sensory thing, I guess, related to his desire for deep pressure - we also see similar success when firmly holding his feet. That's kind of funny to me because he hates wearing shoes.
With these new skills, he also has some emerging sensory "things." Deep pressure input is huge for him and we've been finding ways to meet that need but he's also demonstrating some not-so-desirable sensory activities. Bean has started throwing himself backwards when sitting and we have to keep an eye on him constantly because he is hitting the ground pretty hard. He has also started head butting and head banging (well, it's not that hard - rather, head knocking).
We have desensitized him some to grass so he will play in it for short periods but he still prefers to avoid it with bare hands and feet. He also struggles in bright light and still doesn't care for wind. I bought him some sunglasses with the strap that goes around his head (I know, silly) but he won't keep them on.
Still, Bean loves to play outside and at the playground. He can't get enough of walking up and down the sidewalk and he climbs on anything and everything. I credit his walking progress to so much time spent in the playground. He insists on being on his feet so that his hands don't touch the ground (texture issue) - so that sensory behavior really worked to his advantage.
All things considered, Bean has been making huge developmental progress and we are helping him adapt when need be. I can't wait to see what he does next!