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Not trained to work with down syndrome.

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Old 08-30-2007, 03:35 AM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 398
miyu HB Usermiyu HB User
Not trained to work with down syndrome.

Ok. So I work in a daycare. Everywhere you go, you will always be in contact with someone, sometime in your life with down syndrome. Like going to school. I had them in my class many times. But I was only a friend... but working in a daycare, I feel like I should be more of an influence for this little girl. Know how to deal with her better.

She is very sweet and we all love her. She is very good. She doesn’t EVER act out like the other kids. The only time she ever cries is if she is really hurt. As in fell from the slide, and took a big fall. Where as the other little kids will cry if they barley hit themselves and you see it... its an attention thing.

She doesn’t want any attention, she kind of lives in her own world. She makes eye contact when she is really happy. She is 5 yeas old and she does not speak. But she understand very well. When she makes a mess, you ask her to pick it up, she won’t because she knows you will do it. when you pick it up and tell her to put it in the garbage she does it right away.

Sometimes she won’t put her shoes on, and you have to, or she holds the whole class up. Other times she does it by herself, and walks around, the next min you look at her, and they are off again.

Like I said, she is really cute. Today it was really hot outside and she kept taking off her shirt. As soon as we noticed this was happening, we would put it back on her again. or stop her. If you stop her while she is in the process, it usually doesn’t happen again.

But the talking thing, is the big issue, not only for us but for her family. Her family is thinking of taking her out of school and getting a speech therapist, as well as home school until she talks. she doesn’t do it at home, (talking) and maybe ONCE a month she will say what is on her mind. If you really make her mad, I have heard her say, “NO, I am going home” but that is once in a blue moon, most of the time when talking to her, she just lives in her own world. Like, she Likes to know your there, but doesn’t say anything. Or when she is really happy she will look at you and say “ahs ibillbile ta kata get” baby talk that makes no science at all, but she thinks you can read her mind. And know what the heck she is talking about? What do I do?

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Old 08-30-2007, 07:16 AM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 361
kaybee HB User
Re: Not trained to work with down syndrome.

Federal law in the US stipulates that the school district has a responsibility to provide services for all children ages 3-21. These services include psychological evals, OT, PT, and speech therapy and are at no cost to the family. Transportation is even provided, if necessary. You might want to contact your local school district and see what they offer in Canada. Maybe the speech therapist can come to your daycare and work with the child and the caregiver, too, in addition to the family.

For anyone who interacts with the child, it is important that they simplify their speech when talking. Naming objects in the environment, breaking down directions, using songs and nursery rhymes repeatedly may eventually get the child to 'chime' in and start using speech more. Down Syndrome children do very well with sign language, even if it's just a few basic signs like, 'more', 'drink', 'eat', 'potty'. Pairing those signs with the spoken word is helpful. You can also develop a core vocabulary book that shows basic pictures of common objects such as clothing, family members, things around the house, etc... I like to get a small photo album and put those pics in it and the child can carry it around with them. It is also a good communication tool when the child becomes familiar with and can identify the pics. I also find it helpful to pair gestures when talking with the child.

These are just a few suggestions you can try until you are able to find some assistance. [removed]

Last edited by mod-anon; 08-30-2007 at 10:33 PM. Reason: do not look for alternative spellings to get banned words posted

Old 08-31-2007, 07:13 PM   #3
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 398
miyu HB Usermiyu HB User
Re: Not trained to work with down syndrome.

Thanks so much I will try some of that

Today she did really well, she got a lot of extra attention from everyone, and she seemed to be in a really good mood. Even when I just got there I asked her to hold my hand when were were going outside, and right away she said “no” and I said “very good, you used your words.” And left her alone. I think she understood, as she smiled at the floor.

most of the teachers here are very against sign language. I don’t really know why. They said she can talk. She makes up words like a baby, but she has a voice and can talk, they don’t want her usuing sign language instead of talking. And I think it also has to do with the fact that non of them know it so they would lose that “special” time with her if she was talking to them and they didn’t understand. As well as all the other children would not understand.

Old 09-05-2007, 05:24 AM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Mississippi, USA
Posts: 5
EmilysMom4 HB User
Re: Not trained to work with down syndrome.

The sign language is actually supposed to encourage language. I guess the children are successful with it and are more empowered to communicate. Successful signing shows them that they can influence their environment and they want to do more. I started the basic signing with my oldest, now 10, who has DS. I always said the word too. Eventually she signed and always tried to say the word along with it--that was the way she had been taught. Even if I didn't understand the word, I always understood the sign and she felt successful in communicating. We also used sign language with our next 3 children who are nondisabled and it was wonderful.

Old 09-08-2007, 03:12 AM   #5
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 398
miyu HB Usermiyu HB User
Re: Not trained to work with down syndrome.

wow, thank you so much. See, that make s total sense to me! She can communicate with me in that she understands everything that I say. And when she is feeling down, she runs to me for reassurance. I’m glad that she trusts me so much. And I agree, because some children with DS never get a full vocabulary. And some adults with DS that never had the options that we have today, still do not have any good form of communication with anyone other then the people who know then and can understand their words the few that they know. I don’t want that to happen to her. I want her to be able to communicate fully. But like I said, the daycare is set in their ways and will not change no matter what.

I never get to meet her parents either. I come in only from 12 to 5. And she comes in before me and leaves after. Sooo.. I think I’m going to try some simple signing when no one is looking.

Since we have been playing together, our bond is getting stronger. and I point to things and say the words. We dress barbies and play with cars. And she says “car” and she says “shoes” for the barbies. But she never says barbies. I’m gonna work on that one next. And when we read, she puts her head on my shoulder and listens, then she takes a book and reads to me. And its so cute as she speaks total baby language. Lol do you think a good sign language to start would be numbers?

Old 09-11-2007, 09:54 AM   #6
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Southwest, Missouri, USA
Posts: 13
scaper HB User
Re: Not trained to work with down syndrome.

miyu, she is so fortunate to have you as a caregiver. Do teach her some simple signs .... words that she will use often. We started out with "more" "cup" "cookie" "potty" and worked up from there ..... if you can, get the parents a note with what signs you are working on with her .... so that they can use them at home too. Ideally, you would have support from the daycare with this, but, you can do this on your own - and I would hope that once you have success, the daycare will see progress and HOPEFULLY become a bit more open minded.

My son is 8. We did start learning sign until he was 5. I kick myself now for waiting .....

Old 09-12-2007, 02:21 AM   #7
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 398
miyu HB Usermiyu HB User
Re: Not trained to work with down syndrome.

thanks for your reply, the daycare has set aside most of the day for jsut me and her. they think I am doing really well with her. she is happy to see me, and gives me a hug when I leave or she does.

and she is starting to talk more!! I think she is feeling liek you said "empowered to communicate." she only uses a word here and there when she really wants something. sometimes she Doesn’t pronounce it properly, and when I say what? What? Say it again. She doesn’t and she walks away. I think that is almost frustrating to her, so I try my best to keep my ears open for the word and recognize it even if it is not pronounced properly. In the future we can work on that, but right now, just getting her to open her mouth and try is really good.

Yesterday, when the children were leaving she would stand up from her toys, and wave and say bye to them. So I said go say bye, they cant see you, and she walked right up to the child and said bye!! But the child was too excited to really care that this was happening. I really wish the child paid more attention to it, and hugged her bye. this happend 2 times. I know they understand that she doesn’t talk well, so I hope I can get them to understand when she does, it is exciting and we need to be excited and talk to her too. I think I’m going to talk to the day care about that tomorrow. And maybe have a talk with the children, they are 3-5 so I think they can understand.

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