• New to the echo... 1.

    From Ardith Hinton@1:153/716 to Mark Hofmann on Fri Sep 9 11:23:34 2011
    Hi & welcome, Mark! Recently you wrote in a message to All:

    I have just picked up this echo from my hub. I
    had seen it before, but was not totally clear on
    the discussion until now.

    Within the last few months we had a thread about what makes this echo
    tick... [chuckle]. It's not easy to tell sometimes until one gets to know more
    about the sort of people who hang out here, but I'll add an example of the sort
    of material I think you can probably relate to. A few days after Nora's birth,
    when the pediatrician's diagnosis of DS had just been confirmed, the gynecology
    resident accosted me outside our room to ask... in essence... why I hadn't been
    weeping & wailing & gnashing my teeth. I told him about Judy, a former student
    of mine, and added that I'd be quite content to have a daughter like her. :-))

    As some already know, my youngest son (4 years old now)
    has Down Syndrome. He is only mildly effected from it,
    causing some delays. It took him alittle longer to walk
    (now he runs), drink from a cup, etc.

    Uh-huh. IIRC, kids with Down's syndrome walk independently at 3 yrs.
    of age on average... just as Nora did. One of the common characteristics of DS
    is that various muscle groups tend to be stronger than others. Babies who open
    their fists at an earlier age than usual, for example, may have difficulty with
    tasks which require bending the elbows or the knees. Eventually the muscles do
    sort out among themselves which must pull how hard in order to balance the pull
    from the opposite direction, but they learn on their own unique timetable. You
    probably know this already. I'm filling in a bit for those who may not. While
    I'm at it, BTW, the apostrophe + s after "Down" is optional in Canada. I'm not
    correcting anyone's spelling, just using the spelling I personally prefer. ;-)

    He is doing all those things now, but his speech is still

    IOW he's a typical boy in many ways although he may have reached some
    milestones later than others of his age generally do. One of the hot topics in
    the EdBiz is that at K/1 level a lot of boys would rather play catch with Daddy
    than be chained to a desk under the supervision of a female teacher who expects
    them to learn to read. Boys tend to achieve reading readiness later than girls
    because their focus at this age is on developing gross motor skills. With Nora
    we've found that a growth spurt in one area is accompanied by a plateau in some
    other area more often than not. While she was learning to walk she didn't make
    a lot of progress WRT her vocabulary... but then I learn in a similar way. :-)

    He knows how to say many words and completely understands
    just about everything you say to him.

    I figure he probably understands more than some other adults realize.
    When Nora was around the same age I realized I had to simplify my delivery if I
    expected other kids (of supposedly normal or higher intelligence) to understand
    what I was attempting to say. I agree that both speech therapy & sign language
    may be very helpful for kids who can't get their tongues around the words. :-)

    He is also very godo at sports and has a good pitching arm.

    There's one example of how Nora changed my life for the better. When
    I was growing up I was always the last to be assigned to a team in PE because I
    was such a klutz. I remember how my classmates groaned aloud when I missed the
    target (yet again!!) and other stuff I won't bore you with. I managed to avoid
    team sports as an adult until the Universal Intelligence, or whatever you would
    prefer to call it, asked me if I was willing to parent a kid with DS & I rashly
    agreed. I didn't know at the time that the job involved teaching PE. But Nora
    doesn't seem to mind so much if I can't hit the broadside of a barn... and as a
    result of her interest in sports I've become a lot more interested myself. :-)

    He has been a real blessing and a wonderful child.

    Yes. A mother of two once told me she often wished her "typical" son
    was more like the one with DS, and a mother of four told me the one with DS was
    the light of her life. I don't have other kids of my own to compare with, just
    a whole bunch of students of various ages. But otherwise I can relate.... :-)

    --- timEd/386 1.10.y2k+
    * Origin: Wits' End, Vancouver CANADA (1:153/716)