The Harnisch Family

The Harnisch Family

Mar 30, 2012

Macy's Signing Book, Picture Cards & potty-training

Remember Macy's Signing books?  Below are some pics of Macy and her Speech Pathologist, Sharon, reading them together.
signing "play"
Macy loves these books, I can tell she really connects and engages with them.  :-)  Afterall our kiddos are extremely visual learners, and who better to learn from than themselves right?
Her Early Intervention team has been wonderful!  They keep coming up with great ideas and sharing so many useful resources with us.  Between, books, picture cards and signs, we've got just about everything covered.  Sharon, her speech path, has given us several laminated signs to post around the house.  One success as a result of the cards worth mentioning, is the fact that we've been baby-gate free for over a month now!  Thanks to a STOP sign perched on the second step.  Macy doesn't like it (insert pouty face here), but she GETS it, and knows to STOP! 
We also have laminated picture cards hanging on the fridge and pantry.  So when Macy asks for a snack.  Using her appropriate signs for "More", "eat", "drink", "milk", "cracker", "please", "thank  you", etc....she can now be even more specific by choosing from a variety of picture cards that are readily accessible to her.  We try not to respond to her grunting & pointing (as she is not quite verbal just yet), so these cards and signs allow her to communicate effectively, clearly and without frustration.  Works both ways really!!  It's awesome to see her responding so positively to the use of these picture cards & signs. I also strongly believe that opening the pantry and exposing her to ALL the options can be overwhelming to limiting her choices to a couple "cards" helps narrow down her decision making process.
She is also getting used to hearing the word "NO".  It is important that she understands that it is NOT snack-time, all the time.

Sharon has also made us a really cool song book - with laminated pictures and words, etc...Macy LOVES singing and dancing, so now she can be in control and choose the next musical selections herself  :-)

Another thing Sharon MADE me do, was take photos of all of Macy's toys.  Especially the ones I keep locked away (yes locked) in the closets, toy boxes & cupboard (plus many we keep in the basement toy room).
Don't get me wrong, we still have plenty of toys & games laying freely & openly around the house...just not ALL of them, ALL the time (helps my sanity).
It's funny how you don't realize how many toys your kids have until you take this sort of "inventory" of them.  In any case, 100+ pics later, Sharon, printed & laminated them all for us.  Now Macy can look through her picture cards and select her next toy she wants to play with, without making a huge MESS of her toys ALL OVER my living room floor in the process.  win-win! 

Below are just a few examples of what these picture cards look get the idea.  :-)
Sharon spelled out the names of the toys as well as the corresponding "sign" on the back of each card.  Does she rock or what!?  I know this took a lot of time for her to do...and I appreciate her doing it very much!
 of course my kid likes to play with toy cameras...are your surprised?
and who doesn't love a large bowl o'balls.  It's not like I actually "cook" with this large oversized mixing bowl.  hehe  This continues to be one of Macy's favorite "toy selections"
musical instruments & her parachute, are also high on her list of fun things to play with.  So are baby dolls, toy phones, puzzles, stacking blocks, farm sets...the list goes on really I guess...


Speaking of is a quick pic of Grandpa Lee reading one of our FOUR blog books that we have printed out.

I love keeping this blog...I especially LOVE once our words and photos are finally published to hardcover book form.  (each book 300+ pages).  SOO FUUUN!!!!  I love being the keeper and sharer of our families precious memories.  :-)

Oh & yes, you saw in the title header the word "potty-training".
We had Lucy (her Occupational Therapist) over today to address and consult us on this.  Along with open cup drinking...
but back to the potty...

Over the last few weeks, Macy has exhibited SEVERAL signs, CONSISTENTLY, that she is ready to begin the process.  HEAVEN HELP US!!!

1) She loves dressing and undressing herself  (as well as her baby dolls)

2) She enjoys interacting with the toilet  (both in the real-life bathroom & the one in her dollhouse) 

3) she steals big sisters underwear and puts them on herself over her clothes  (all the time & not just one at a time)

4) she signals to us when her diaper is soiled by patting her bottom and giving me the "potty-face"

5) she then proceeds to go over to her diapers, grabs one, brings it to me, lays on the floor and LIFTS HER LEGS.

We can't deny these clear ques & obvious signals.
I suppose, even though every part of me is in denial and wants to ignore it, we must address it.  She is ready to begin, what I know will be a long road, of potty-training.  BRING IT! 
We are going to start slow & keep this as low-key as possible.  It will be simple really.  Every time she tells us her diaper is dirty. (we will actually be transitioning to pull-ups soon)  We will tell her good job and direct her to the bathroom, where her special potty-chair is.  Encourage her to sit on (sans clothes).  Then change her pull-up.  We just want to make the association and introduce the toilet to her gradually.  It's a marathon right!?  :-)
I am not getting my hopes up.  I have heard SEVERAL stories of how challenging it is to potty train our little one's with Down Syndrome.  For obvious reasons...So, I will be optimistic, yet realistic at the same time. 
Patience is key. 

...deep breath...

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