Tuesday, March 20, 2012

World Down Syndrome Day

Today is World Down Syndrome Day.  We have been working on this little labour of love to celebrate having Jack in our lives.  In all honesty, when Jack was born with the diagnosis of Down Syndrome, I thought my happiness had come to an end.  I was so afraid. But what I now realize and hope to share with others is how our joy has multiplied with each one of our children.  What a blessing it is to be a parent.  Each child has needs and their own unique challenges.  We are privileged to be charged with caring for and loving three remarkable children.  Today, we celebrate Jack and the unique gifts he brings to our family.  He has enriched our lives and knowing what we know now about Down Syndrome, we would choose to walk the same road again and again.  We invite you to celebrate with us by watching the video.  If you know someone who has Down Syndrome, please share how they have enriched your life or what you love about them by posting a comment.  Be brave, we would love to hear your stories!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March 21, World Down Syndrome Day

As we approach World Down Syndrome Day (March 21), a day for celebrating the lives of people with Down Syndrome, I thought I would answer this question for myself today.  What would I tell myself the day that Jack was born now that I know what I know now?

I think I would say:  Don't be afraid.  He is wonderful, funny, loving and amazing.  You will not regret having this child.  He will win your heart.  Don't listen to the "nay-sayers" that tell you what he will never do and trust that God has a bigger plan.  Jack continues to amaze us with what he can do.  He humbles us with his capacity to love and live life to the fullest.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Is winter over?

A favourite winter photo.  Interested in it's digital workings,Jack reaches for the camera.  All electronic gadgets and computers are a GO.    Another one of Jack's favourite words.   IMG 4013IMG 4016IMG 4019

You have got to be on your toes with this boy!  He is quick.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The total communicator

How it warms my heart to  see little brother learn from big.  What love and gentle patience am I witness and so are you.

Levi and Jack read together

I am impatient and try not to voice the question "will he ever speak"?
I want my little one to talk and tell me of the many things a boy of three sees and thinks on.
A "total Communicator' is what our Speech and Language Disorder Assistant calls Jack. The clever boy uses everything he can to be understood by the world.  He signs, gestures, points and speaks a few very clear words:  Daddy, beep, up, down, and yep being his favouriites.

We have enjoyed learning over one hundred signs from watching the Signing Time videos as a family.  We have also been using the See & Learn photo cards from Down Syndrome Education International.  These have been tremendous resources to help us see that Jack's receptive language and understanding of things has continued to develop with his age even when his expressive language has lagged.  It has also helped Jack see that he can communicate with us as well and be significantly less frustrated.  Although he does get frustrated at times too, as you can see with his increased agitation towards the end of the video.  He does not like to be bossed around and will only tolerate it for so long from his siblings.  The research done by Down Syndrome Education International in the area of Speach and Language for children with Down Syndrome (0-5 years) encourages a move away from signing to focus more on actual speech production once a child knows 100 signs.  This is where we are now an iit is challenging.   It is hard to stop signing and give up some of our total communcation so that we will hear more words.  But he is coming along.  This week we got the "mmm" sound.

Looking forward to hearing Mommy.
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