Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Music Therapy

Aidan is in music therapy - and loves every minute of it (as do I). It truly is the best part of our week. Our therapist, Johanne, is beyond amazing. She delights in the kids - and you can see by the joy on her face and in her music, that she loves her job. (I haven't put a picture of her here because I haven't asked for permission yet).

The photo below shows Aidan waiting for his session to begin. Usually there is another little boy eating his lunch after his session, and the two of them hug one another, and smile at each other. We get there early and wait, because I think the before and after can be just as important as the middle. I love how Aidan's face is lit up in this picture:

A typical session begins and ends with a hello/goodbye song. Then Aidan and another participant take turns making choices using photographs of the different instruments and activities.

Here's Aidan, choosing an instrument:

Johanne usually plays a song on the piano while he accompanies her on various instruments. Here he is playing the chimes:

and the drum:
and the keyboard:

Thank goodness for music therapy. Also thanks to our local Down Syndrome Society for assisting with the cost of this wonderful program!

Monday, December 7, 2009

What to say...

In an earlier post I pondered what to tell young children about Down syndrome; as a four-year old was wondering why Aidan cried like a baby when he was three. His mom asked me what I would prefer and I told her I really didn't know what the right thing to say was. I indicated to be straight forward and honest - not making a huge deal. That if she accepts Aidan the way he is, then her son likely will too.

I had Aidan at the pediatrician's last week, and found out our regular doctor is on a mat leave, so we had a Locum (?) from Calgary. After visiting with us for a bit Doctor C told me that her younger sister also has Down syndrome. Can you believe it? I took the opportunity to ask her what she would say to the mom who wondered about how to explain Down syndrome, and her answer was very wise:

"Keep it simple. When a child asks how a car works - all they usually need/want to hear is that the motor makes it go. You don't have to go into pistons and fuel and all the nitty gritty. Usually they're happy with a simple answer. So, Aidan acts younger because he has Down syndrome. He's learning things on his own time."

Thanks Doctor C for the helpful advice - I'll use that next time the question comes up.

BTW - Aidan picked that hat himself. :o)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Busy day...

Aidan and I have had a lot of appointments this week. He was to a pediatric opthamologist and now has a new prescription for glasses. He was great at the appointment, and so cute. After the drops were put in his eyes (which he did not like at all, and screamed and yelled and twisted and turned), he sat up and signed "all done!" The doctor chuckled. We went back to the waiting room while his eyes dilated enough.

We met a grandmother there who was waiting for her daughter and her granddaughter to finish. Aidan went and sat beside her and they read a book together. She was quite taken with Aidan, and he really liked her too. When we had to leave, he blew her a kiss. The rest of the appointment went fine. Dr. P. said he was a model patient!

Today he had a needle at our pediatrician's. Another lady in the waiting room fell in love with him. She said she had a friend who had Down syndrome when she was a kid, and that she found him to be so "pure."

I'm not sure if pure is the right word, but the fact that people are connecting with my little guy does my heart good.