Dream Shard Blog: The Scintillating Adventures of Our Household

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Aug '10


Wesley is nearly three. This means that he’ll be exiting the therapy service program he’s been part of since birth (which covers ages 0-3) and entering the programs available through the school district. This also means he starts preschool (!!) in about two weeks. He’ll attend a class with a mix of special needs and “normal” kids. This school is close to our home, and Wes will get to ride a bus that picks up the special needs kids. I’ve heard from other parents and the therapists that kids LOVE riding the bus because they sing songs and keep the kids entertained during the ride. Nonetheless, I still can’t picture sending Wes off on a school bus.

Because Wes is leaving his current therapy program they’ve been doing exit testing (which is really his annual testing). The other day his speech therapist came and did this. Last year she graded him as a “less than 2 year old” because he was 23 months, and he scored in the 18th percentile. This time she graded him as a 3-year-old and he scored in the 1st percentile. I agree with her when she said the test score isn’t a good indicator of how Wes is doing. The test was largely comprised of the therapist asking Wes to point to specific pictures on a page (“Where’s the dog?” “Where’s the dog’s nose?”). Pointing and identifying things is not his forte. There were several pictures on the page, and Wes would point at each one in turn and either make the sign or say the word for each thing, but when he was asked to specifically point to something, he wouldn’t/couldn’t. The therapist said that she just did the same test with another little boy with Down syndrome and he had the same problem. She said that she hadn’t thought about it before, but maybe this skill is one of those things that’s just hard for kids with DS.

I am constantly amazed at how much Wes knows and how smart he is. His pronunciation of words and sounds is continually improving. When he says “more” his “r” sound is becoming more pronounced. He’s started to say the “k” sound. He will try to repeat words that we say.

He is also an obedient little boy. One of his favorite pastimes is pushing toys from his bedroom down the stairs. Sometimes we’ll hear him dragging toys down the hall towards the stairs and we’ll call up and tell him to stop and take the toy back to his room. And he turns right around and drags the toy back into his room. No problem. He wants to be a good boy and is so willing to listen and obey (most of the time).

One area that he’s doing great at is gross motor skills. Wes is a mover and a shaker. A few weeks ago his physical therapist asked me to see if Wes could jump forward, from point A to point B, and if he could to measure how many inches he jumped. She said 12 inches or more was very good. I didn’t know if he could even jump forward. But it turns out that he can easily clear 12 inches. Which really shouldn’t have surprised me, considering Wes loves jumping off our sofas, beds, and down the stairs (I keep telling him “no jumping on the stairs”).

Here he is dancing.

And helping Grandpa Holt in the kitchen.

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