Tag Archives: Apraxia

Free Printable – Functional Sign Language for the Childcare Setting

Noah has been enjoying his time at the Child Watch program at the Y.   A few weeks ago, the director asked if I could come up with a few signs to share so that Noah would be understood when he signs.  I’ve come up with nine basic American Sign Language signs that are commonly used at home and in the childcare setting; Mommy, Daddy, water, thirsty, all done, more, potty, ball and hurt.

Functional Sign Language for the Childcare Setting

Download the free printable PDF here: Functional Sign Language for the Childcare Setting

For many children with Down syndrome, apraxia, and other speech delay, motivation can be a real problem.  There is nothing more frustrating to a child than attempting to communicate with someone who isn’t understanding them.  On the flip side, there is nothing more motivating to a child struggling with speech than to have the people around him understand and respond to his attempts to communicate.

Please share these signs with your child’s school, babysitter, daycare center, Sunday school class, grandparents, and anywhere else your child may be at risk for not being understood.

Thanks to http://www.babysignlanguage.com for allowing me to use their graphics.

When is a Bus Not Just a Bus?

You know how exciting it is when you hear your new talker say a new word from the back seat as you drive on your merry way?  That awesome moment when you ask yourself, “Did he really just say that?” and then, sure enough, he says it again.  And that new word that to anyone else is just a word becomes to you the pivoting point that the world is resting on?

Well that happened today.  Just driving down our old country road on the way to the recycling plant.  I heard “bus” in Noah’s unmistakable gruff voice.  No way.  There was a school bus heading our way, but no way could Noah have seen it before he said “bus.”  So then I glanced in the rearview mirror, and sure enough, we had already passed one bus.

I looked over at Leah and said, “Did he just say bus?”

Affirmative.

Well, I hooped and hollered and Noah growled and said and signed “Stop.”  (He hates it when I get all excited about his speech.)

More busses.  “Bus, bus,” I prompted.  More growling.  And then as the next two school busses passed, it was reported from the back seat that Noah was whispering “bus” (knowing Mama just couldn’t help but get excited if she heard it).

Next thing you know, all the kids, including Noah were playing a game of being the first person to say “bus” when another bus was spotted.

Talk (no pun intended) about being in  the right place at the right time!

Raising a courageous hero with Down syndrome rocks!

(Once kids with speech issues start playing games like this, keep the game going by looking for school busses on all your drives and shout out “bus” each time you see one – perhaps the kiddo will join right in, and you’ve just captured a few more word productions for free.)

Eat Cookie – A New Two-Word Phrase

Our journey to help Noah find his voice has been so long.  There are days when I feel the effort has been too taxing, and we still have so far to go, maybe we should just rest, retreat and accept that where we are is where we’re going to be for a while.

After talking about two-word phrases for two years now, Noah is finally starting to say them on his own.  Today it was “eat cookie.”  I know it doesn’t sound like much, but I have fought through good days and bad, good moods and bad, days when it felt downright irresponsible to spend yet another 30 minutes on drills and two-word phrase activities that we’d done 100 times before.  I have fought hard for that two-word phrase.  And yet as hard as I’ve fought for it, there is one person who has fought even harder – Noah.  Stringing sounds together to form words and then stringing words together to make phrases is more difficult for Noah than any of us could imagine.  I don’t know if he fully understands how important it is that he learns to do this; I suspect he just understands that it is really important to Mommy that he learns to do this.  That’s why he endures daily drills and endless repetitions of functional phrases like “open door” and “milk please.”  But when he dives for a box and carefully and thoughtfully says “eat cookies,” it leads me to believe he has caught a glimpse on how important it is for HIM that he moves forward with speech.  Oh how I hope so!

In the meantime, it’s cookies and milk for everyone – on the house!