Tuesday, March 3, 2009


We had speech therapy yesterday. Kira sees her speech pathologist about once a month. She's been seeing Patricia since she was about 2 months old. Both of my kids are big time communicators. Jackson had a 100 word spoken vocabulary at 1. Kira had a 100 word vocabulary (spoken + sign) by 2. I think she's getting close to 150 words now - she's 2 and a quarter.

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


  1. Hi Wendy, it's Kam's riend Ashley! I'm so glad you have a blog! Thanks again for your coupon info. I'm trying to put it to use. I hope to see you again soon!

  2. Very cool to know all this. Finn is breastfed, and I keep hoping that will help in his development of speech. In our neck of the woods, ST doesn't typically start until 18 months unless there are "feeding issues" earlier than that. So I don't know how that is going to play out.

  3. Lisa,

    When we first started with Early Childhood Intervention, I asked to have a speech path come out to observe Kira during a feeding to make sure that her latch looked good. I think that put us on their radar - I don't know if we would have been offered speech so early otherwise.

    You might mention that you've started Finn on solids and you'd like to speak with a speech path on how you should be feeding him. Our's was very specific in how we should use the spoon, support the cup, etc. So, rather than asking for services specifically, you might just request a consult. Maybe that will jump start regular services?

  4. Wendy, that's a great suggestion, and one I think I'll take you up on! So thanks for that.

    Thanks, too, for your vry insightful comment on my blog today. I really appreciated it.