Monday, January 26, 2015

At Home Learning Activities for Kids with Down Syndrome.

I recently was going through some old posts, and found this one, in which I state my intentions to work on a few things with Ellie.

An excerpt:

A Look Ahead….

Maybe if I share this publicly, I'll do a better job of teaching Ellie some skills that are next on the list, including:* Getting dressed with more independence* Potty training (which can be really hard for kids with low muscle tone)* Cutting soft foods with a knife* Responding appropriately to questions* Counting to ten by rote* Counting objects with 1:1 correspondence

I've been diligent with some goals and a slacker with others, but Ellie has continued to grow in her abilities at her own pace.

Of the list above, we've spent the most time on questions and answers.  Verbal skills are Ellie's relative strength, but answering questions can be hard.  We model, model, model question and answer skills.

I wasn't sure how much progress we were making until Ellie and I went out to dinner Friday night. (In the conversation below, the cashier was speaking to me, not Ellie.  She couldn't even see over the counter, so it wasn't a big deal.)

Me: Ellie, do you want a turkey sandwich or a quesadilla?
Ellie: Quesadilla!!!!!
Me, to cashier: I guess we'll take a kids quesadilla.
Cashier: OK, chicken on that?
Me: El, chicken?
Ellie: NO!
Cashier laughs.
Cashier: Fruit or chips as the side?
Me: Fruit, please.
Ellie: CHIPS!
Cashier laughs again.
Me: Oh, that's a mom decision, and mom picked fruit.
Ellie: CHIPS!!!!!!! I want chips!

So at least she is making choices, even if I disagree.  I didn't cave, and we ate fruit.

Other (less verbal) skills are tricker for Ellie.  She needs a helping hand with shirts, even if they're big, although Ellie is getting better.  She puts her jacket on using the "preschool flip."  She can put her Uggs on her feet, although getting them on the correct feet is inconsistent.  Giving her time to simply play with her boots helped with that self-dressing skill, but the shirts will require a bit more work on Mommy's part.

On the list from my previous post, I mentioned counting to ten.  We worked on that skill by sending Ellie to school.  Yay, teachers!  Now we just need to work on 1:1 correspondence.

Ellie has been working on her coloring and writing, too.  She got these crayons for Christmas and loves them.  Almost every day, she sits at her little table and tells me she is going to "color on the paper."  I love that the crayons promote a tripod grasp and Ellie loves that they look cool.

Art time is also time we work on letters.  I write words, we draw pictures of the words, we point out letters, we make faces on the paper with "two eyes and two ears and one nose and one mouth."  We add stickers to promote fine motor skills.


To work on other pre-reading skills, we just read!  Ellie loves books. If I say "no" to reading a story, she'll give me sad eyes and say, "Can you try?"  She copies my reading, pointing to the words in her books as she makes up her own words, adorably starting every story with "Onceuponatime!"

As in, "Onceuponatime Elephant and Piggie driving.  Do you have a car?  NO!"

Elephant and Piggie fans know that she skipped straight to the end.

Finally, I decided to make Ellie her own predictable text book.  I used all images she's familiar with (as they're all photos I took.)  You are welcome to download and use as you like, but only in your own home and I retain copyright.  So print it out and have some fun!

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  1. What an awesome little book with your favorite star.

  2. Not sure if she's still struggling with getting shoes on the right feet. You can put a mark/picture/anything on the outside of the shoes where they touch if you have them on the right feet. If they are on the wrong feet they won't touch. Follow me on for other ideas, check out Therapy Thursday's. Love your blog!


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