Wednesday, August 26, 2009

First Conversation

While I was talking with Eliana this week-end, a milestone occured.  It was a small one in that you could have missed it.  It was a big one though and I was thrilled to experrience it.

Eliana is delayed in her speech and language (as is typical for children with Down syndrome).  She is working hard though.  These are some of the things we are working on in this area:

*Making new sounds - usually be imitation

*Repeating sounds or words

*Learning more about what words represent so that she has greater understanding.

*Answering questions -  She will typically shrug her hands when asked a question (as in "I don't know" or just look at you). 

*Learning and using signs - She has quite a good vocabulary of signs and it is growing all the time.  She is often trying to say the word while also signing. 

Much of Eliana's speech is repeating what someone else has said.  We are trying to work on questions and getting her to answers - specifically "I want".  Or "what do you want?"  This works really well with food (can you believe it?!) as she has shown a huge interest in food as of late.

On to the conversation.  I was getting the bathtub ready for our friends to use this week -end.  Eliana had followed me into the room.  When I had finished getting things ready I started to leave the room.  I asked Eliana to come with me.  She said "no".  I was stunned!  She expressed herself using language!!!  (I know, it sounds like her first response was pretty sassy, but I was happy to hear it).  And there is more!  In an effort to entice her out, I asked her if she wanted to go get something to eat.  Her answer to me was "bath" (sign and word).  That's it.  A very small conversation, but still thrilling!

Thanks for enjoying it with me.