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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