Every baby is a gift, even if the wrapping is a little different.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Jennifer Aniston's Ignorant Display

A perfect example of a non-thinking, flippant reference to people with intellectual disabilities. Jennifer Aniston thought she was being funny, when in reality she was making use of a word that hurts and degrades those who have intellectual disabilities. I've never been a fan of Aniston's and I'm certainly not now. I'm sure she meant it to be some off-the-cuff remark for laughs, but the fact is it isn't funny. Not to my son. Not to me. Not to the thousands who struggle each day for some acceptance and some respect.

People with disabilities don't want or need a cure--they need compassion, kindness, and understanding. Don't try to change them, embrace who they are and what they can each offer to the world. Each of us is a child of God, no matter what challenges we may face.

And, for the record, people with intellectual disabilities don't "play dress-up."

Monday, August 23, 2010

Memory Skills

I've heard that kids with DS have problems with memory skills so I've been watching my son. Since he's still young, I don't know yet about long-term memory, but he seems to be able to remember things like how to turn on the computer after I've turned it off, how to access his favorite websites (like Starfall), and how to lock me out of the house (while he smiles at me).

Today I watched him match words on Starfall. I've seen him match items like apples or dogs or flowers, but I've never seen him match words. I thought maybe he was just lucky the first time I saw him do it, but he repeated it by matching four more words. When he finished, he looked at me with a smile and then pointed to the screen. He realized he'd done what he was supposed to do for that particular game.

I'll continue to watch him for memory skills.

As far as potty-training, he has had many dry diapers in the morning and he's had long periods of a dry diaper during the day. He also points to his diaper when it's wet and says, "Eeeww." I nod my head and say, "Eeeww." Then I sing, "Potty in the diaper, no, no, Potty in the toilet, yes, yes." I think he's getting ready, but I don't want to push him and stress him out and then make it take longer. So we'll keep working on potty-training.

And, he's the only one home with me now that school has started. Very weird. I haven't only had one child home in over twenty years. I'm looking forward to one-on-one time with him and helping him grow and learn.  

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Reading and Potty Training

Yep, we're still working on potty training, probably will be for quite some time. While my son sits on the toilet I read him books. He's doing more and more signs for pictures in the books. I was reading him an ABC book and we got to the letter N. The illustration was notes, as in musical notes. I had never read this book to my son before, but he pointed at the notes and started singing and waving his arms around as if leading others in singing. I was shocked to see him connect musical notes to singing and can only guess he recognized them from the hymnbooks we use each Sunday.

Kids with Down syndrome generally do not have good memories, or so I've read. But, my son definitely remember things, even things I wouldn't guess he'd remember like those musical notes.

Every day is an adventure with my son. I find it exhilirating to see what he'll do each day and to watch him grow and learn. I never would've thought this when he was born, but I'm very, very grateful I have a son with Down syndrome! I feel so blessed that Heavenly Father chose me to be his mom.