Wednesday, October 12, 2011

{31 for 21} Prerequisites and Pigtails: Twelve.

A couple years ago, I was taking a Special Education class.  The instructor asked us to get in groups and list all of the steps involved in a given activity.  The activities included tasks like making a sandwich, crossing the street, etc.

After each group presented, we looked through the task analysis to see what we assumed people know.  (For example, the instruction "Use knife blade to spread peanut butter onto one side of bread" assumes the reader can safely handle and hold a knife, get peanut butter on a knife, and can identify knife, peanut butter and bread.)

Many of the milestones we look for in children require a number of prerequisite skills.  For children with Down syndrome, some of these prerequisite skills need explicit instruction.  The homework Ellie was assigned of removing objects from a shallow pan is a very early step in learning to stack blocks.  Sitting in a chair is a prerequisite skill for learning to write.

Therefore, the milestone charts for Down syndrome have a whole lot of extra milestones, because our kids with Down syndrome work so hard at each task.    I'm sharing this because as we celebrate with Ellie, you may find us celebrating odd things.  "She looked for an object that disappeared from sight!"  "She sits in a high chair!"

What amazes me even most isn't that Ellie is grasping these prerequisite skills.  What amazes me is the fact that most typically developing kids master these skills without instruction. 

Kids are amazing.

And you know what else is amazing?  Babies in pigtails.

(How's my hair?)

(Thank you Aunt Terri for my yummy tutu!)

("I'm so cute it's scary" onesie.)

(I love this spoon.  Best toy ever!)

This baby in pigtails has been struggling with her teeth lately.  She still has none, although if you're brave enough to reach into the jaws of steel, you can feel little nubs attempting to show themselves as teeth.  Ellie's new teether of choice is a wooden spoon.

Happy Wednesday, and another thank you - Team Ellie has raised $900 so far to support our local Down syndrome group!  Feel free to join us on Saturday at the Buddy Walk.
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  1. I appreciate your perspective on homework and milestones. And I am seriously coveting those pigtails!

  2. The pigtails so perfect with the tutu.

  3. So interesting to hear about how that works from a Special Educator's perspective. I always marvel at how much I learn while teaching Samantha to do something, and can't help feeling just a little bit superior to those parents of "typical" children whose kids just do them automatically. I feel like I'm in on a BIG secret, like I've just gotten some top-notch education and become so much smarter in the process. :-)

  4. just flashed back to the special ed years, and "breaking it down" those pigtails are TOO cute!!! Yes, she's scary cute!

  5. I just found your blog and am really enjoying everything you have to share. :)

  6. oh my goodness! Ellie is just scrumptious!


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