Wednesday, January 28, 2009

speech article from down syndrome online

i found this site while looking for articles on how learning a foreign language might effect a person with down syndrome.

Speech, language and communication for individuals with Down Syndrome - An overview

this site has tons of information including articles and mailing lists. it seems like a wonderful resource.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

sweet voice of maya

today we had speech therapy. i've been a little concerned with maya's lack of progression in this area. it seems that all the other therapies are going rather well. even her occupational therapy which we have not had a bunch of session with, have seemed to produce quick results. we have been working with our speech therapist for four months now and still it seems that maya has only been cooing. babbling (such as baa, gaa, maa) has not yet come. i have read that these sounds are the building blocks to speaking words.

i know that maya will have many hurdles to cross in her life but speech seems to be one area that i have some anxiety about. maybe it's just me, but i have always had the feeling that when someone cannot communicate as clearly as the "norm", it makes people uncomfortable. i don't want maya to have these struggles. i suppose it is inevitable. and perhaps it is my own feeling of not knowing how to handle such situations that makes me feel helpless.

when i think about learning how to speak, i think it is probably one of the hardest challenges to meet for anyone. i often mispronounce words. it feels as if my tongue does not do what my mind tells it. i wonder sometimes if this is what is happening to maya. maybe she wants to say the word but her tongue is not in the proper position. when she first said da-da i thought it would open the door to so much more. but it has been over a month since she first said that and i am still waiting for her voice to take flight.

every once in awhile i can hear her in the mornings, quietly, cooing in her bed. she has such a sweet voice, so soft and pure. i like to think she is having a little conversation with herself in a language we just don't know yet. what comes from her mouth seems like music to my ears. i only wish to hear more.

Monday, January 5, 2009

if you're happy and you know it clap your hands...

two days before maya figured it out, the occupational therapist was trying to teach her how to clap hands. this last month has been all about hands it seems. i've been trying to teach maya to use her hands more. grabbing, holding, transferring, waving, clapping. i've noticed that she is picking up things real quickly lately.

these days she is fascinated with the fact that she can put her hands together. she sort of rubs them together and stares at them. she opens and closes them and watches very carefully at the action. i happen to think it's awfully cute, but then again i am her mother.

maya below claps her hands, at nine months and three weeks old.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

shifting perspectives for ds

this is an amazing project. i found it surfing flickr.
calenders created with the intent to bring awareness about people with down syndrome.
the kids and adults are photographed so beautifully. below is the link for the 2009 calendar but check out the 2005 calendar also. i love the idea behind it.

DS2008 - Shifting Perspectives

Friday, January 2, 2009

milestone: hand to hand transfer 12.22.2008

the night we got back from visiting my family, i put maya down on her play mat to stretch and roll around. she was laying on her back and suddenly she reached over with her right hand and grabbed the plastic links next to her. then she took the links and transferred them to her left hand.

i was so excited when i saw this because this is something we have been working on in her occupational therapy. it's something i've been trying to show her all the rest of the days as well. i just wasn't sure she was getting it. she always surprises me though. there are days when i worry that she will not get it, that she is not keeping up with the "average milestone chart". but then she just does it, like she has been doing it all along.

i found this milestone chart for infants with down syndrome on the web. i was glad to see that there is something like this floating around on the net. i'm trying not to take for granted all the wonderful progress she has is making. i want to remember all these moments and the joy i feel when she does them.

i'm happy to say at nine months and almost 2 weeks maya used her hands to grab something she wanted and move it from one hand to another. developmentally this opens the door to so many possibilities. i just can't wait to see what is next.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

music video

this video is amazing....
hands away, music by interpol