Sunday, October 3, 2010

Day 3: (31 for 21)

Although speech is the most difficult form of communication in children with Down syndrome, more than 95% of children with Down syndrome will use speech as their primary communication system.  Most children with Down syndrome understand more language than they can use as a result of specific speech production difficulties. For this reason, learning to sign will help the majority of children to communicate, to show their understanding and reduce their frustration.  This leads me to Landon's next form of therapy.....Speech therapy (ST).

Prior to a speech session, Landon's therapist and I would discuss different themes/categories of words to focus on.  For example, one week we may focus on things that Landon likes to do.  Landon loves to play pass with a ball, toys that play music and he enjoys flipping through the pages of a book.  His therapist would then bring a ball, musical toy and a book to his session and would show him the sign for each object that they are using at the time.  Over the next couple of weeks, when he has repeatedly been shown the sign to each object, she would then give him a choice of which activity he would like to do.  Sometimes Landon will motion towards his choice and on occasion he would make an attempt to sign the object.  It's almost like being given vocabulary words for homework.  You go over them repeatedly, and then you are tested at the end of the week.  The test being, making a   choice as to which activity you would like to do.  And just like school, each week, your vocabulary words change. It doesn't matter if you get them wrong.  Eventually, when you see the word enough times, you learn how to spell it, the right way!!  But each week, the words change, and that's how we build on our vocabulary.  
With the help of Landon's speech therapist, here is a list of words that Landon is able to sign (some are more consistent than others):

hi, bye, mama, eat, milk, more, all done, book, dog, bath, my turn, music, fish and hat (he is currently attempting to sign "friend")

He also knows the different parts of his body: eyes, nose, mouth, tongue, teeth, hands and feet.

And his all time favorite is signing the "Itsy Bitsy Spider"!!  

Here is a glimpse of Landon during his ST sessions!!


  1. Love the pictures and thanks for the run down on his ST. Landon seems to be enjoying ST, I can't imagine Saira sitting so still during any session. Even when we do flashcards at home she is more busy throwing the cards and crawling around the room than actually concentrating on the cards!! But we have to keep trying, right?

  2. OK, since Landon is the big "talker" we have to get him together with Em.

    How do you sign, S- T -U -B - B-O - R- N!!!

    He's doing so great with signing!!

  3. Communication, in whatever form, is SUCH a relief, isn't it?! For both child and parents. I saw a lot of behavior issues in Samantha disappear once she was able to speak and sign and actually tell us what she wanted. Way to go, Landon!

  4. I love seeing other people's therapy pictures!