We're working on more two word combos, more spoken language, adjectives and pronouns. I think our girl is pretty amazing. When we see other families with kiddos who have Ds, they want to know who our speech path is, what we've done, etc.
Here are the things I think we're doing to help:
- I breastfed her until she was 25 months - I think this was great exercise for her mouth. I didn't think it would be possible the first couple of weeks she was here - it was a hard fought victory (more on that later).
- We did start speech therapy early. For the first 6 months of therapy, we did lots of mouth exercises, stretches, etc. Since then, our therapy has been mainly maintenance - since we only see Patricia once a month.
- We have never used a sippy cup. Kira started using regular straws and drinking from a cup at around 5-6 months.
- Sign language. We used sign language with Jackson, too. I'm so thankful that we did. It was one less thing to have to be intimidated by, when our world was rocked by Kira's diagnosis.
- We read constantly.
- I never shut up.
Having said all of that, I also think that Kira's plain old everyday chromosomes set her up to be a communicator. Jackson was speaking in complete, completely understandable sentences by 18 months. By 18 months he referred to the clock on the oven as the "hot clock". Brownies were "candy bread" and my mom's dressing was "chicken cake". He has a way with words. Kira's therapist calls him "hyper-verbal." He turned two right as we were beginning all of Kira's therapies, so I actually have professionals who witnessed him at that age! I think Kira's development pretty much mirrors Jackson's - just with the addition of her extra genetic material.
oops...she's up from her nap. more later