Isaac was started on Glenn Doman’s “How to Teach Your Baby to Read” program in April. At first I thought, “Why would I want to do that?! Don’t I have enough to do already?!” After further study, I realized not only does it take just a few minutes a day, but it is mainly for the visual/brain stimulation benefit. Isaac was a bit bored with the single words, but once I got to 2-word phrases he always looked at his words with interest. Then one day I just showed him the word “clap” without saying the word or clapping, and he clapped! He should be able to read many books by the time he is ready for phonics. It’s just one of the many strategies we are using to “grow” Isaac’s brain, so he can perform at the same level or above his peers someday, Lord willing.
So much has changed that is in our favor. Now with the mapping of the 21st chromosome completed, they know what genes are triplicated in Trisomy 21, and can then theorize how it’s affecting the body. ( I sort of deflate when it comes to biochemistry, but I’ve learned a lot in the last year, and will tolerate it for the love of my son. :o)) There is also a Down syndrome mouse researchers can experiment on, and a wealth of biomedical information out there to help us know how to maximize potential. I definitely could not do all that is suggested, but I trust the Lord to show us what he would have us do for Isaac.
Some of you may be saying, “Why not just accept your child as he is?” Because he is not “well” in some areas. I love my son and his 47 chromosomes very dearly, but I will not just accept stunted growth or poor breathing as a “side effect” of Trisomy 21 without at least trying to do something about it. If your baby has asthma or diabetes, you treat it. Down Syndrome is treatable. It is a lot of work, but children are worth it. Those things I cannot help him with, or which would bring our family out of balance, we will let go. But to just treat him like the others when he clearly needs more help, I cannot. Many decide not to go this route, and I do not judge them. God has a plan for each soul, and I need only follow Him and His leading for us.
Thanks for listening! For more information on wellness of “hurt” children, or early learning for any child, see http://www.iahp.org/.
Isaac/family update: Today is the 20th anniversary of Jay’s Mum’s passing on to eternal life, and he misses her still, of course. She was a beautiful, fun-loving lady, and Jay’s #1 cheerleader. I have so often wanted to be what she was to Jay, encouraging him in every pursuit, but she was so good at it I’ve never come close! (Maybe next year! :o)) She would have loved the children so much, and especially liked taking the girls shopping! I would have really enjoyed having her around for many great chats together, and I look forward to seeing her in heaven someday.
I had to miss my family reunion for the first time in 16 years, but I know God has us here in China for now. The whole gang Skyped us, and it was so nice to at least see and hear everyone! Thank you all! I come from a large family, and really look forward to being with everyone again. It’s hard to believe that Isaac will be 3 and a half (Lord willing) by the time most of my family meets him!
A real praise this month is that I finally found a practitioner willing to work with me on solving the puzzle of what is holding Isaac back in his growth and development the past few months. A naturopathic physician and college biology professor who has a son with Down Syndrome runs the DS Treatment Center of Oregon. Her son is 6 and above his peers academically, and she believes Isaac may have thyroid issues. Once we get those under control, we should see him really taking off in his development.
It’s fun to have a 3-year-old! Funny happenings with Isaac’s older brother this month:
Our 3-year-old was eating an orange. “I’m making orange juice,” he said. “With my teeth.”
I was in a rush to get to the hospital yesterday morning to get some blood tests for Isaac. Whoever is on laundry duty sorts and puts the clean laundry in large suitcases in the upstairs hall, so people can collect it each morning and put their own away – hopefully, right?! Anyway, I ran up to look for Isaac’s training pants, and as I opened the suitcase for my room, there was only a 3-year-old, popping up to surprise me. I was definitely surprised – pleasantly, thankfully!
Our eldest was excusing himself from the table one night at dinner and said “Thank you for the meal, whoever made it.” Although his younger sister had made it, the 3-year-old piped up with a totally serious face. “You’re welcome. I did most of it. I put the bowls on.”
The children were playing hospital, and the 3-year-old came in and said that he needed help because his brain stopped working. An older child said “You don’t need the hospital then; those people go to the seminary.” He meant to say cemetery! Sorry Uncle Martin!
I’ll leave you with some poetry I noticed in my 9th grader’s school book the other week, that I thought was lovely:
“My crown is in my heart, not on my head,
Not decked with diamonds and Indian stones,
Nor to be seen. My crown is called content:
A crown it is that seldom kings enjoy.”
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.”
1 Timothy 6:6-10 (KJV)