5 & 5.1 Years: Getting Easier To Understand

5 Years

How in the world is this little gal 5 years old? Seriously. It has hit me pretty hard that I don't have any little ones at home anymore. We are on to the next stage in life.

As I look back on the past 5 years, I am grateful for how Belle has progressed and grown in many ways. However, I also have the full realization that we still have a lot of work to do. Sometimes all the stuff left on our "to do plate" feels overwhelming, and I question whether or not it will ever be completed. One day at a time, right? I guess we are all truly a work in progress.

On days when it seems like we are sitting idle, It helps me to think about how far we've come. Five years ago I spent my time thinking about if Belle would ever be able to communicate with me, and now I shush her multiple times a day because she won't stop talking (especially when her siblings are trying to talk). And when I came home in the middle of a pretty bad thunderstorm a few days ago, Belle greeted me at the door, saying "me woke up from my nap and me freakin' out mom!" This is progress 😊.

Happy 5th birthday to this little light of mine!

TalkTools | Annabelle 5 years TalkTools | Annabelle 5 years TalkTools | Annabelle 5 years TalkTools | Annabelle 5 years

5 Years 1 Month

There are some months that I sit down to write our monthly recap and think 'what in the world even happened this month?' This was one of those months.

As I look back through our calendar, I do see that we managed to have some fun. 😊 To kick off the month, Annabelle's Army (comprised of our awesome team of supporters) participated in Kansas City's Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk for the 5th time. We always have a great time at that event.

Belle was selected to be in a photo shoot for Target, so if that ever goes to print, we will post pics. The photo shoot was in Minneapolis so we drove 6.5 hours to be there. It was a memorable experience for sure.

We met with Monica Mitchell this month to update our TalkTools plan. She is such an amazing supporter and therapist and got us back on track with our oral motor program. 

We had parent/teacher conferences this month for Belle's PreK class. The teacher began the meeting by asking me what kind of expectations she should have for Belle, since she has Down syndrome. She has never had a child in her class with Down syndrome before, and Belle is the only child in the class with a "disability" (if you want to call it that). I responded to her question by saying that at this point, we intend for her to have the exact same expectations for Belle as she does for everyone other student in the class. Luckily, we were on the same page because her 1st quarter progress report was based on those exact standards. Belle is doing well. She scores the highest in the cognitive/academic area which includes ABCs, colors, numbers, shapes, etc. She needs the most work in the fine motor skills, especially with cutting. Belle's teacher said her speech is getting easier to understand, especially when she slows down. Of course, we will continue to work on this so she can develop relationships with peers and can continue to express what she knows.

TalkTools | Annabelle 5.1 years TalkTools | Annabelle 5.1 years TalkTools | Annabelle 5.1 years

More videos are available on TalkTools YouTube channel.

Happy Fall!

Much love, 

-Lanie Beetsma

Annabelle has Down Syndrome and has been using TalkTools Therapy since she was born. Her story is a great inspiration for parents of a child with Down Syndrome. Follow Miss Annabelle’s journey from the beginning here.

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