Alyssa is doing really well. She really is a calm, happy child. She is very bright and has about a dozen signs down in
She is making more sounds but still no words. She does say “ma ma ma,” but it’s
hard to tell if its really for me or just another sound she is making.
She is 6.5 yrs old but I think pre K is the best placement for her. She has been denied so many experiences that she is definitely much more delayed than what she would be with just having Down syndrome, as its obvious with her learning things so quickly (not necessarily academic things yet though). Because of her age and unique circumstances, we were able to call her (on paper) ‘kindergarten” instead of 1st grade (which most kids her age are). However, we will likely hold her back at the end of the school year for a true kindergarten year from start to finish. This year we had written into her IEP that she only attend half days due to needing time to bond with our family. She really would take off with anyone and is exceptionally attracted to sitting with men and stroking their chin so I really want to make sure we do not naively assume that she could handle a full day away at school each day without repercussions.
Alyssa attends school Monday – Friday from approximately . She rides the same bus in the morning with Marni and Nadia. Nadia goes to a different school (I’m not sure if they consider her class a self-contained classroom, they may have another name for it but its more advanced than the self-contained class at the other school). Marni and Alyssa go to the same class, however, within the 1st hour of school Marni leaves her home class for the general ed kindergarten class for a few hours, and Alyssa joins the special needs pre K class for specials. I’m not even sure they both come back at the same time; I think Marni is still in the kindergarten class until after Alyssa leaves for the day.
Alyssa has very little interest in toys or even fantasy play such as the kitchen set, baby dolls, dress up, etc. The only time she really even goes near those things is when she is following Marni (or rather Marni is pulling her…because Marni does pull her all over the house with her) but generally she wants to get into everything that is not a toy, and have some adult or teen’s attention at all times.
Her hair pulling and pinching behavior is slowly fading. Still, if you are wearing glasses or earrings, be careful! : )
When we first brought her home Dan and I joked how we better be careful that we don’t forget her somewhere because she was so quiet…not so much the case anymore lol She is chatty, chatty, chatty lol Now I joke that not only has she come out of her shell but sometimes I’d like her to go a little ways back in (not really lol). I can’t help but wonder if this more outgoing personality is completely new for her or just the result of her becoming more comfortable in our family. I’m inclined to think it’s a bit of both; I found that she really started coming out of her shell when she started attending school. About 2 weeks ago she took a week off of school to have her enormous tonsils and large adenoids taken out (to help her breath better and hopefully help to get her tongue in her mouth for speech). She bounced back incredibly quick from surgery but went back to being a bit more reserved…until she went back to school. lol
Alyssa is wonderful and it has been amazing how well she fits right in. Marni had a hard time adjusting initially but I believe she too is doing wonderfully now. We feel incredibly blessed.
Now some pics…you will see Alyssa’s favorite thing to do is pet chins. No clue what that’s all about!
Prepped for surgery
Marni putting Nadia's knee immobilizers on Alyssa lol
On the front porch petting Yana's chin while Yana checks out Facebook from the iPad
Waiting to be called back from therapy and everyone is tired of having their chin pet except Nadia.
This morning the 3 little girls piled on me on the couch and Alyssa pet both Marni's and Nadia's chin at the same time.
So happy with her 2-hand petting session this morning ;)
I stepped out of the living room to take Nadia to the bathroom and returned to find these 2 little birds perrched way up high.
3 little monkeys sitting on a swing...
One of my ABSOLUTE favorite photos!