Ever see the blinders that are placed on either side of a horse’s eyes so that they don’t become distracted during a race? In MY race against time in developing Moishey’s speech, I would sit on a kitchen chair and pull his hi-chair over to bring us face to face with each other. I then put my two hands on the sides of Moishey’s and my face to ward off any distractions. This position forced Moishey to very closely stare at me. I then proceeded to very slowly and carefully articulate simple words which I felt were not too taxing on him. He stared at my mouth, lips, tongue and teeth movements and watched me repeat myself a dozen or so times, and then he repeated. I strongly believe that this early training in speech has greatly contributed to where his speech is up to now. Take it straight from the horse’s mouth!
Keeping the Yarmulka On:
Yarmulka throwing is a common problem with developmentally delayed boys. It seems that when they get their 3-year payos haircut the yarmulka on their heads becomes a perfect object to flinging rather than wearing.
I was determined not to have Moishey’s join that group of statistics. Two months before his payos haircut, I started to pin a yarmulka on to his hair for 10 minute trials several times a day. Initially, he yanked it off, sent the bobbypins flying and quickly ran off. But after many attempts, pleading, bribing, and persistence, my efforts proved fruitful. When upsheren day arrived, Moishey welcomed his yarmulka like a pro and has been conscious of it ever since.
This article first appeared in issue #2 of Down Syndrome Amongst Us