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SLP Mommy of Apraxia: October 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Happy Birthday Song! Ashlynn turns four

Ashlynn turned four this past weekend and my husband and I were just beaming with pride.  Last year, she couldn't blow out her candles, sing the Happy Birthday Song, much less even say Happy Birthday.

When she woke up in the morning, balloons were waiting for her in our hallway.  Before she hit the bathroom she excitedly said "BAYOONS!!"

As she stepped in the kitchen, we had a Minnie Mouse Birthday banner, tablecloth, and big balloon decorating the kitchen.  She could not stop talking!  "Minnie right there, and Minnie right there, and Ashlynn"s Happy Birthday!"  When my husband came out in the kitchen she called "Look daddy!  Minnie! Ashlynn's Happy Birthday!"  When he asked her how old she was, she proudly held up four fingers and pronounced "fowa."  She just recently has been generalizing the 'f' and she said it correctly without any cues. Also, last year, the motor plan to hold up the right amount of fingers just wasn't there; but this year, with a little planning, she pulled in her thumb and held up all four fingers.  My husband and I exchanged looks of pride knowing what the other was thinking, without having to speak a word.

When we got in the car to go the Pumpkin Patch, all by herself we heard a happy little voice coming from the backseat, "Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to ASH - IN, Happy Birthday to you!"  This time when we exchanged looks, we both had a little tear in our eye.

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Monday, October 7, 2013

God Bless Grandma Green

Ashlynn's Great Grandma Green has been out for about a week now visiting. This isn't the first time Ashlynn has met Grandma Green. She usually comes out in October each year to stay with Ashlynn's Grandma Smith who is of course her daughter. 

Last year she bought Ashlynn a dress for her Birthday that was purple with big colored polka dots that was instantly her favorite. Unfortunately, at that time, Ashlynn didn't have many words. She couldn't really express how much she loved the dress (besides pointing to it when she saw it in the closet), she couldn't say I love you, and actually, she couldn't say grandma and mama the same way at that time, which meant she couldn't even expressively differentiate between any of the maternal women in her life.

This year though, is different. Oh what a difference a year makes. Grandma Green has only been here a week, but each day I picked Ashlynn up after work, she was sitting as close to her hip as possible. Today, circumstance would have it that she could go out to lunch with just her and her two Grandma's. When she got back, she once again kept trying to get close to Grandma Green, asking her, "Read this book?" Or "Ashlynn sit here?" She still confuses names, and in a sentence may call Grandma "Mama" or Grandma Green (Dama Deen ) "Grandma Smith (Dama Smi)." We all would have to pause frequently saying, "wait, who am I?" 

However, there was no mistaking tonight who made a guest appearance in her nightly prayers. We usually go through and say, "God bless daddy, mommy, Jace, and Sahara." Then, depending on the day and who she was with, I add names of the Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, etc. Half the time I have to remind her to include Cody and I!

Well tonight, I started out, "God bless....." As I waited for her to fill in the blank, out popped "Dama Deen." I couldn't believe it! She has never added anyone novel before without me modeling it first! Heck, half the time she forgets her parents or Jace! Well, tonight, she finally had found the words to express her love for Grandma Green, in a simple prayer to our Heavenly Father. I really don't know how much bigger it gets than that. 

She still has few words, but with them, she expresses profound things.  God bless "Dama Deen."

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Down Syndrome Awareness Month!

I've had the pleasure of working with so many children who have Down Syndrome.  I could take many pages describing their sweetness, kindness, energy, and overall aura, but in honor of this month, I think I'll talk about one I had never even met before.

I was nine months pregnant with my first child on a nice, but windy October day.  I had just left a prenatal appointment and was headed back to work.  Stopped at a red light at a busy intersection, I put on some lip gloss and waited for the light to turn green.  Bus stops are on every corner, and are fairly busy in this particular part of town.  As the light changed to green, I pressed the accelerator, when all of a sudden, without warning, my car just shut down!  I owned an older Pontiac Sunfire two-door.  I was panicked as my stalled car was stopped in the middle of this intersection, and I could barely get out of my car; much less hope to either walk to the sidewalk, or push it out of the way.

Shaking, I fumble in my purse trying to find my phone.  As my fingers fly through all the junk I've been meaning to clean out of my purse, my car starts to move.  I look to the sides and then in my rear view mirror. I can vaguely see the outline of two men pushing my car to safety, away from oncoming traffic.  When they get me to the shoulder, I hoist my shoulders out of the window calling to the men trying to thank them.  I caught the largest grin of one of them as he waved, told me, "no problem" and ran to catch a bus he almost missed.

That man had Down Syndrome.  I wish I knew his name, I wish I could have gave him a hug, or thanked him properly.  Out of ALL those people stopped at the busy intersection, it was this young man who ran to help me and then disappeared again.  He never even expected a thank you.  He just followed his heart and did what he thought was right, without thinking he might miss his bus.

During Down Syndrome Awareness Month, I would challenge everyone to just once, follow their heart without worrying they might miss the bus.  You might make a greater impact on someone's life; more than you may ever know.

Learn more at


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