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Words, words, and more words

Posted Apr 23 2009 5:28pm
Braska has taken off with her speech in the last month. She's been mimicking, for the last few months, everything that's said, in person, on TV, in the store, etc. But now she's using the words, identifying what she wants, "labeling" as the ST calls it. We were all excited when she first looked at the TV when there was a cat food commercial and said, "Cat! Meow!" Then in the next 4 days there were another 6 words used, and we just kept looking at each other like, "Holy Cow?!?" We started keeping a list, so we wouldn't forget, and so we could reinforce them. It got to where we were adding new words, sometime 2 or 3, every day. I'm just plain blown away by this, let me tell you. She's cracking us up with the mimicking still, and we really have to watch what we say or what's on the TV, since she doesn't so much have an "appropriate" filter. She just says it if she hears it.

She's come a long way, also, in completing her words clearly. Nose is now nose, not just "no." Sheep has the SH and a clear P on the end. Bottle is plainly two syllables with the appropriate sounds in both. We're to the stage that when she will allow those outside our house to hear her, they can actually understand her. That's pretty fun, I must say.

Her teacher at school has said that she's just talking up a storm at school the last few weeks. She was all shy the first few, so I'm pleased that she's getting comfortable enough to chat with them. Some uses are more inconsistent than others, but all of these on the list have been shown properly more than a few times. Here's what she's got so far... unfortunately, we've not been successful getting much good video yet, as she's not so cooperative at performing, but she uses them as she needs them.
  • Cat: Especially when she sees them on TV or a movie. And she yells this one!
  • Drum: She requests her water drums when she gets in the bath, and she has an ice cream tub that she uses for a drum as well.
  • Bubbles: This has recently been a request from the PT, as Braska found them in her bag and wanted some bubble action. She also identifies them when asked.
  • Nose, Ear, Hair: She prefers to identify these on bodies not her own.
  • Picture: This is what she calls the camera. She says it when she grabs the camera if it's been left within reach and when she looks up to see it pointed at her.
  • Movie: This is said, generally with animation, as soon as she gets in her carseat in my car. There's a DVD screen that she uses on longer trips. She seems to think they are all long enough.
  • Bottle: Every time Kinlee gets a bottle (when we're away from home for a feeding), Braska has to get in on the action, come grab the end of the bottle and identify what she has found. She has a tendency to want to take it out of Kinlee's mouth, but we're working on that part. One step at a time!
  • Car: One of her puzzles has a car piece, so it gets identified when she plays with it. She will answer, "What is this?" for that piece too. And sometimes when she's looking outside at the front door she'll say car when one goes by. Oh, and of course, when we go to the garage to leave, she lets me know where we're supposed to go.
  • Puppy: She doesn't seem to like the word "dog" so it's always "puppy" instead.
  • Sweet: This is her word for a hug lately. She'll lean in and cuddle for a second and say "Ohhhhh, sweet." I think we must have said this and not realized it. She also does this to Kinlee in the morning when she comes to say hi.
  • Nice: When she pets Kinlee's head, she says, "Niiiiiiice." We have told her repeatedly to "be nice" so I guess that's where she got it.
  • Bless you: When someone sneezes, including herself, she greets with this. So funny to hear.
  • Wash: This is used whenever she's done with eating, or if I wipe her hands when getting into/out of the shopping cart or something.
  • Bouncy: She loves this one, and it's all for Daddy. They have a knee-bouncing good time in the evening, and she hardly lets him sit down after work before she starts insisting, over and over and over... "Bouncy!!!"
  • Poop: This one shocked me, but when I get her out of bed in the morning, if she has messed her diaper, *most* of the time she will tell me "Poop." It's not 100%, but it's been pretty consistent.
  • Bib, Tray: When it goes on before eating, and when it comes off...she labels them each both times.
  • Door: Any door, she goes to it, knocks, and says, "Door."
  • TV: This is what she says sometimes when she gets in the car, instead of "movie," and she hands me the remote in the morning after breakfast and says, "TV!" (sometimes TB) as she knows it is time for Sesame Street.
  • Makeup: This is what we call her Aquaphor that we use on her face (also arms and legs, but then it's "lotion" which, I know...it's confusing). Anytime she sees the container come out, she yells "makeup!" and occasionally it sounds like "nakeup" for some reason.
  • Bath: If we forget to close the bathroom door, she stands at the side of the tub, knocks on it, and says, "Bath" over and over until someone removes her or complies with her request.
  • Diaper: Everytime we change her, we ask, and she answers. And if she gets into the diaper bag and empties it, she labels each one as well.
  • Brush: A comb or brush gets called a brush. And she will take it and attempt to comb/brush whatever hair is near. She usually tries to do her own RIGHT after I've done pigtails or something nice and neat.
  • Shoes/socks: These are favorites of hers. She taps on them and labels them as we put them on her or if they are left on the floor. And if we put them both in front of her and ask her to give us one or the other, she will get it right. I love that!
  • Hat: This one almost always is both a sign and spoken at the same time. And it usually comes up when Daddy shows up with one on.
  • Pat pat: This one is for Kinlee. She will lay her hand on K's belly and then lift just her fingers and pat, telling us what she's doing. I think it's quite interesting that she doesn't lift her whole hand.
  • Glasses: She occasionally will just touch her glasses and label them. Or when she's around Grandma or others with glasses, she'll label them and grab, but she's better about not taking them off of the person. She also says "glasses on" when we put hers on in the morning.
  • Mommy: She has taken to patting me on the arm and saying it, just the last few days. She doesn't use it to request my presence yet, like from her crib or anything.

A few other fun things that we do every day are her ABCs, when I say each and she repeats them all. She's now able to give the following letter on about 6 of them. We also work on numbers 1-10 (10 is her fave), and she will do 2 and 3 when given 1 to start with. And she now has a few animals that she knows sounds for: Cow, Sheep, Cat, Bear, and Horse. She can say the word and then answer, "What's a ____ say?" with the right sound. Bear is our favorite, because she says "raaooor" with a very bored and un-scary tone....a very mild bear, for sure.

We are very pleased that she's doing so well. As most of you know, every kid is different, including kids with DS. Every kids has strengths and areas that they struggle with more. Braska's strength is her speech/communication, whereas gross motor (walking, standing) is her area of great struggle. No matter how that changes or evolves, we'll still celebrate all the accomplishments and continue to work on areas that need more help.

I hope to have video to share of some of this soon!

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