Last month I shared One Truth, One Tip and One Photo. This month I will do the same, albeit with different points being made, lest you get bored with reading the same old same old. If you would like to join along on the hop, here are the rules, and the link is at the bottom of my page:
One Truth (about Ds or our lives with Ds)
One Tip (information on something related to Ds/raising a child with Ds/or just parenting in general)
One Photo (or Fabbo pic, as I prefer to call it)
Go ahead and flame me for this, all you anti-stereotype people, but stubbornness is NOT a stereotype for our kids with Ds. It's for REAL (thanks for empowering me to say it loud and proud, Meriah!). Sure, you can say all you want that your typical children are stubborn, too, and why pigeonhole a trait on people with Ds that is shared by everyone else, but NO, it's DIFFERENT. I don't have typical children, but you can bet your life that Sammi's classmates don't behave like she does on a regular basis. She's a mule. And has her own agenda much of the time, meeting my agenda with as much resistance and clever avoidance/manipulation as she can muster. It's interesting to watch, but wholly frustrating as she digs in her heels, flops and drops, fake-cries, crosses her arms and pouts. Re-direction usually works, but just a quick tip from our ABA-therapy-trained friends, do not bribe!!!! That surely spells disaster for the next time...
I'm going to go against Meriah's Truth today with my own take on therapy, and make it into a Tip. She states that the necessity of therapy should be questioned before it's purchased and swallowed. While I love Meriah dearly, I have my own thoughts on this. When Samantha was born, my mother told me about a guy she knew who had a daughter with Down syndrome who was determined to do everything he could for his daughter and for her future and threw every type of therapy at her he could. That image stuck in my mind in Sammi's early weeks. Being lucky enough to have been living in a county that offered therapy freely and in copious amounts from the word Go, it was easy for us. We didn't even have to ask, and Samantha was given Physical Therapy from just a few weeks old and Speech Therapy within about a month and a half from a therapist who embraced oral-motor therapy (btw, I have no personal attachment to the link there, I just did a quick Google search to find some sort of explanation for you). We were offered one hour per week each, and then added in Occupational Therapy at about 15 months, when Samantha's PT started working with her full-time on walking. Sammi aged out of early intervention at 2 years old when she entered public preschool, as she received similar services there. Not long afterwards, we added in private PT, ST and OT to supplement what she was receiving in school.
My thought on therapy is DO IT. Do as much as you can, as often as you can, without burning yourselves out. If you and your child don't mesh with a therapist, request another one - sometimes personalities can clash, and the results can be counter-productive. If you and your child are burned out, stop with the formal therapy and pick up the Woodbine House books and do it yourself. I feel like there is no limit on what we can provide our children to help them succeed, there is no limit on providing them the tools for success. Therapy is critical, in my opinion. If your county tells you they won't cover your child's Speech Therapy until the child is 2 or 3 years old, the age at which they should already be talking, push for earlier or go private. Strengthening the muscles in the face and mouth to help facilitate speech BEFORE speech comes is a no-brainer.
Okay, stepping down.
Fabbo Pic Time!
Um, I can't remember if I posted this one yet or not... I've been slacking a bit on photo-taking and may be repeating myself. But I love it all the same. (Incidentally, the Fabbo part refers to the beautiful child, not the old chick in the front...)