As promised in my last post about our top ten resources for teaching beginning phonics, here is a collection of Short Vowel Stories adapted for children with T21. I wrote these for my oldest child when she was learning to read. Since I’m all about adapting materials for children with T21, of course I had to adapt these stories for Junior. I spent a fair amount of time adapting the stories for him, increasing the font size, putting double spaces between each word, and adding a lot more visuals to help with reading comprehension. So, when he buzzed through these stories, I have to admit I was pleased, but I also had that unsettling feeling you get when you spend two hours cooking up a wonderful meal and then your teenage sons devour it in five minutes.
Anyways, I think this collection of very short stories will help your children (with or without Down Syndrome) enjoy success as they first read phonetically. And yes, for you they’re free.
Continue reading “Short Vowel Stories Adapted for Children with Down Syndrome” →
“Oh well, I do nothing but shop all day.” This is a quote from St. Zelie Martin, the mother of St. Therese of Lisieux. I think any mother of a large family can relate… I certainly do! My kids are constantly outgrowing and outwearing everything. She goes on to write, “Your father says, amusingly, that it is a passion with me! It is no use explaining to him that I have no choice; he finds it hard to believe.” (Letter 143)
I find these words so consoling, especially nowadays when I feel I have stupendous amounts of Christmas shopping to do. A saint shopping all day… can you image? Shopping seems so materialistic, but we can find holiness even in shopping if we do it out of love for our family and friends.
So for those of you with littles, here are some Christmas gift ideas to make your shopping a little easier:
Continue reading “12 Great Christmas Gifts for Preschoolers with Down Syndrome” →
Happy World Down Syndrome Day! Earlier this winter, I attended a webinar featuring Dr. Brian Skotko, the director of the Down Syndrome Program at Massachusets General Hospital. He gave a wonderful, highly informative presentation on how to keep our loved ones healthy, boost their cognition, and how we might mitigate the onset and severity of Alzheimer’s Disease. We all know that keeping our kids active is so important to their overall health, but Dr. Skotko’s presentation showed how this is especially crucial for kids with T21.
One of the easiest ways I keep Junior active is by playing music for him. He loves music, and he loves to dance. So we play music and dance several times a day, and he really gets a workout. Bonus: He learns the lyrics and starts singing along, which is great for his speech.
Today, I’m sharing with you his current playlists of songs and dance music.
Continue reading “Music for Preschoolers with (or without) Down Syndrome” →
Most of you know that our youngest child has Down Syndrome. We found out the day after he was born, when the pediatrician noticed several markers for T21. That day the nurses tried to draw blood so they could run a test to confirm the diagnosis. But the particular vein they needed to draw blood from was too tiny, and after seeing my son’s wrist full of needle holes, I asked them not to try again until he was older and his veins were bigger. My husband and I didn’t need immediate test results — T21 or not, he was our son and we loved him dearly.
Unbeknownst to my husband and I, the nurses drew blood for the test a week later. I didn’t know this until they told me that the test came back positive. I could have been upset that they drew blood without our permission, but I wasn’t. I could have been upset that the test came back positive, but I wasn’t. I was, however, tired and stressed because Junior wasn’t gaining weight, I wasn’t producing enough milk, and progress with his oxygen levels was painstakingly slow.
Later that afternoon, Junior’s nurse noticed that I was visibly upset. She thought it was because the test results had come back positive. “I’m sorry about the test results,” she said, sympathetically. Then she said something that shocked me: “Do you want to put him up for adoption?”
Continue reading “The Unsung Heroines of the ProLife Movement” →
I got a call from Cale Clark the other day. After reading a controversial article from The Atlantic Magazine, The Last Children of Down Syndrome, he wanted to know what it’s like to raise a child with Down Syndrome. What was it like to get that diagnosis? What’s our life like now? And how do we deal with the uncertainties about our son’s future?
Our family’s experience is only one data point, but it is an experience shared by many families blessed to have a child with T21…
Continue reading “Raising a Child with Down Syndrome: Talking with Cale Clarke on Relevant Radio” →
With many schools being closed yet again, I thought I’d share our Advent traditions and what Junior and I are doing for the month of December.
Continue reading “Advent and Christmas Activities for Preschoolers with (and without) Down Syndrome” →
Ideas, ideas. I love great ideas for teaching Junior, our preschooler with Down Syndrome. As I promised in my post about Teaching Preschoolers with Down Syndrome, here are some of our favorite educational activities :
Continue reading “Homeschool Activities for Preschoolers with (or without) Down Syndrome” →
Hi! It’s me again. 🙂 Can you believe that Easter is right around the corner! To keep my mind off all the COVID-19 news, I’ve been busy preparing Junior’s activities for the month of April. There are so many fun, educational activites you can do with Easter eggs! I’m posting again so soon because I hope you find some ideas here to help keep little hands and minds busy during this time of quarantine:
Continue reading “Easter Activities for Toddlers with (or without) Down Syndrome” →
This post is for a group of children so dear to my heart: toddlers with Down Syndrome and/or speech delays.
Experts say the the first three years of life is the most important period for the development of speech and language. Unfortunately, because of COVID-19, our Junior and toddlers like him won’t be getting speech therapy for who knows how long. This is a real setback, unless parents take a proactive role in providing their little ones with therapy at home. Of course, getting therapy from an experienced and qualified speech therapist would be best, but there are many resources to help parents out.
So I’d like to share with you a list of speech therapy resources that we have found most helpful. Many of them have been recommended by Junior’s therapists and by a dear friend who is a speech language pathologist.
Continue reading “Speech Therapy Resources for Toddlers with Down Syndrome” →
Hi, it’s me, Junior. Last time I hacked my mom’s computer, I told you about stuff for a baby shower. But now that I’m a big boy (I recently turned 2 1/2!) I’m here to tell you about my favorite things for a toddler… with or without T21.
Continue reading “12 Great Gifts for a Toddler with Down Syndrome” →