This month I thought I would count up how many spoken words and signed words Ethan has accomplished and see what the totals were since he is about to hit a big milestone…2 years!
Here is what I found he can do:
SPOKEN WORDS: 9
“nanas” (his own word, meaning snacks usually)
bye bye (or just bye)
pillow (one time so far, this past weekend)
gentle (one time, this past week)
ASL (American Sign Language) SIGNS USED: 31 total (that we can recall, there may be a few more)
NON-ASL GESTURES USED TO COMMUNICATE
“love you” gesture
“kiss” (blows kisses and will kiss when asked)
“one” or “last one” (holds fingers up to show ‘one’ when I let him know the “last one” is coming up.
“hush” from the Goodnight Moon book, apparently I was doing this gesture (like “shh!” gesture) while reading it and he remembered it.)
I think it is so interesting what kids will pick up on first. I’ve noticed most of Ethan’s are motivated by food. He also picks up on words that he hears in songs or books. So those really are important things to do with our kids! The educators weren’t making it up..
Here is Ethan brushing his teeth. I’ve been trying to let him try anything at all to get him practiced up to be independent. I watched a documentary recently and also talked to some family who work with people with special needs, and it made me even more motivated to let Ethan try things as young as he is able (which is often younger than us parents suppose) so that one day he isn’t that adult who has never cooked anything before. Or doesn’t know how to brush his teeth. Or doesn’t select and put on his own clothes. (His OT is already working on him putting clothes on somewhat. 🙂 ) “Disability” or not, I expect my son to be able to do quite a bit for himself!
Ethan brushing his teeth!
Walking has improved, but he mostly prefers crawling still. He has more self-motivated walking lately, however. I try to put toys up high or at eye level to encourage walking rather than crawling.
Still working on that straw! He’s had a break lately, but time to practice up! (We were out of town). He is trying some new foods, still mostly eats purees, though.
We have an ENT appointment this month that will determine what all he has done surgically. It sounds that tubes for his ears and a bronchoscopy (checking out the anatomy of Ethan’s airways due to abnormalities that actually can cause aspiration from what I gathered..more on this later.) will be a for sure thing, and he will also likely have his adenoids and tonsils removed due to mild sleep apena and swallowing issues. A lot of speech issues are due to kids with DS not hearing properly from the fluid and frequent ear infections they can get from their small ear canals. Ethan has had fluid on his ears a lot recently and I’m anxious to at least have the tubes done. I’m not thrilled about surgeries, but if a tonsillectomy will help him swallow and breathe easier, I’m ready to just get it done. I’ll post about our experience with those things when the time comes. ALSO coming soon, though..a post about Ethan’s Signing Time birthday party. 🙂 I’ll have to be creative because there isn’t already b-day merchandise for this, but its his favorite.