Noah’s Courage – TMI

Don’t you just hate it when bloggers insist on sharing potty training experiences either out of pride or desperation?  It makes for  just slightly uncomfortable reading, don’t you think?

Well, phooey.  I’m going to do it anyway.

Noah (6 – with Down syndrome) got up from his nap today and I sent him to go potty.  He came back bare bottomed and headed for his underware drawer.  He pulled out a pair and signed “pee pee.”

I said, “Noah, where’s your underware?

He signed “dirty.”

I went and checked – no sign of the clothes.

“Noah, where is your underware?”

He took me to the washing machine, opened the lid, and there they were.

Sure enough his stuff was wet (not dirty).   Kinda strange cuz he never has accidents at nap time anymore.  For goodness sake, he doesn’t even go to sleep at nap time.  But that’s beside the point.

Back to his bedroom – he lead the way.  He put out new underware and shorts and was raring to go.

So, let’s review.

The kid had an accident.

He realized he had an accident.

He knew he needed to shed the old clothes and come get the new.

Not only did he know the clothes needed to go in the washing machine, he actually PUT them in the washing machine.  (Siblings, take note!)

He put the new clothes on all by himself.

And he communicated several times before, after and during this episode, everything from can I get up, to dirty, to I want to watch TV (all in gestures and sign).

It was like, well, a conversation.


And how about those life skills?  Impressive, eh?

(Don’t tell my other kids about all this – they know I’d be writing a much different post if I was discussing their potty training experiences.)

5 thoughts on “Noah’s Courage – TMI”

  1. Amazing! That shows an astounding amount of maturity and awareness. (Sorry, we battle with social cues over here lol).

    Conversations in sign are the best kind. I learned when I had friends that were hearing impaired and even now -though they have excellent speaking voices- when they speak with their parents (whom are hearing) they use mostly sign because it is “their language”. It is a bonding experience that most parents will never know!

    1. Oh, that’s AWESOME that you know sign. How much do you know? Does JP like it?

      I’m really bummed right now, because Noah’s new speech therapist doesn’t seem to care a hoot about signs, he wants Noah talking. Noah may need a dose of that right now, he certainly wasn’t making at the speed of light progress with traditional therapy, but I love communicating with him – anyway I can! PROMPT therapy is so intensely focused on motor planning and coordination and sounds, I think especially when you get the training from high level PROMPT clinicians, there’s just not much room for other stuff.

      Sign language seems to be an excellent foundation for speech – the first words Noah signed years later were the first words he spoke, and he seems to be following that progression. Even if Noah isn’t progressing quickly with speech, I’ve been so excited to see how much he can do with his sign language and how good he is at picking up signs. If he were assessed solely on his verbal skills, he would score wayyyyyyyyy lower than if they took his signs into account. Assessments are not our friends right now – but that’s a post for another day. His old therapist was really good about modifying the assessments for his signing – she accepted his signed answer just like she would have a verbal answer. Seems like a much better measurement of cognitive function, don’t you think, than requiring a verbal answer from a kid who might be able to understand and communicate, just not talk?

      Anyway, once I get the whining out of my system, I’ll get back to work with Noah on his signs. I could just do without feeling like a Lone Ranger, though. Ah, the things we do for our kids.

      BTW, did you know ASL counts as high school foreign language credit in most states? I’m figuring if I can keep up the ASL with Noah, when he graduates from homeschool highschool, he might just be fluent and would be able to communicate with the deaf population – something most people never learn to do. I think that would be pretty cool.

      Gotta run – it’s tumbling day at the Y.


      1. That is so strange that the SLP won’t count his sign as valid communication. I know the final destination is to have fluent out-loud communication but for where he resides I feel the cognition in signing in answer is just as much of a step in the right direction as speaking aloud.

        I USED to be fluent. Or mostly so..give or take some technical terms. And I was FAST. I was so good at one point that hearing people would mistake me for hearing impaired and would say the most random things because they thought that I couldn’t hear them behind me (I.E.- that deaf girl is hot, what do think they are saying, ect lol). Always a fun time to turn around and answer the question and see their faces. 😉 At this point I am a bit rusty since my girls got married and moved away. Though I can still hold my own nicely.

        As for Jp…you are going to laugh. I didn’t teach him sign. I thought that -even though it is still communication- that he would rely on it and be late in speaking. There are actually studies that say it can go either way. I chose to go with not teaching it in the hopes that he would use verbal language more quickly. I don’t know if you read my post about the ridiculous irony that I am so “into” learning languages (on top of sign I also took french and know a functional amount of Spanish) that I wanted Jp to be tri-lingual and I thought we should focus on the verbal before tackling the non-verbal.

        In hindsight…well, you know hindsight has the curse of being 20/20. Never in a million years would I have thought communication, of all things, would end up being such a daily struggle. My SLP actually admonished me for not teaching him sign (which is why I find it so strange that yours is so nonchalant about it) and now we solely focus on the structure and use of ONE language-lol.

        As for knowing sign, he couldn’t be in a better area. You know there is a school for the deaf here, right? Hence how I know so many hearing impaired people! He might have a future in it!

      2. I’m trying to be open to the new PROMPT route, and because PROMPT relies so heavily on tactile cues, the therapists hands are on Noah’s face, hence they can’t be signing. From my exposure to adults with Down syndrome, no matter how “good” their speech is, even the top dogs are difficult to understand most of the time. I really think we’ll keep on signing, it was just so nice having a therapist who would learn all the signs right along me and use them in therapy. But I’m learning there are probably plus and minuses about most therapists and strategies, as in everything else in life. I knew about the School for the Deaf – and I know there’s got to be a deaf community in the Westgate area – every time we go out to eat around there we find people signing it seems. Then again, as soon as you learn to sign, you start noticing all the people around you who sign.

        It’s completely plausible that not signing will be the right choice until JP is older. Did I understand you right that you’re still holding off? I’m sure, once again, there are plusses and minuses either way. As you’re able to see more of where his difficulties are and the etiologies, you’ll know which way to go. Unfortunately I do find my older kids are not very interested in learning sign, although they do try to decode Noah’s signs at times. Frustration can be a powerful motivator to speak, but frustration can also be a powerful motivator to act out. You would think somebody would have drawn up a road map to all this. I’m finding out that it doesn’t even matter if I find somebody who has a very eloquent and well researched position on things – they could still be wrong, and they won’t be around to help me pick up the pieces if I screw up while following their advice.

        Sometimes I just want to throw it all away and just play.

        But then Super Homeschool Mom takes over and reminds me, “But you have to do more with him academically than they would be doing at public school. If he were at public school, he’d have an IEP and goals and lesson plans and they’d be trying to keep him on grade level. Play? There’s no time for play.”


        Poor kid.

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