Annabelle turned 6 this month and she loves to tell everyone about it! To celebrate, we had a swim party with family, her first 'friend' party at a gymnastics center, and a Paw Patrol cookie cake for her class. She enjoyed every minute of the celebrations.
Annabelle currently attends a small private school, but has speech and occupational therapy at the public school once a week for about an hour and a half. We had her annual IEP meeting this month, which is always a little stressful. Even though Annabelle does a great job overall, IEP meetings typically point out all the areas of deficits and struggles. I am aware of them, of course, but it's never fun to hear about it from a team of other people.
In regards to speech, we discussed her challenges with the "s" sound at length. At one point, six women were sitting around a table making "s" sounds in effort to try to figure out where we all place our tongue behind our teeth and what it is the best way to teach it. I am sure if you were a fly on the wall, it would have been quite comical. To make a long story short, all of the speech therapists in the room say and teach it differently. This prompted me to contact Monica Mitchell at TalkTools to set up a meeting as soon as possible because I KNOW she will have a specific way to teach Annabelle 😊.
I am so thankful that we have another option of speech therapy for Annabelle in addition to the traditional services she receives through the public school. This is not to say that traditional speech therapy is not helpful; it certainly is, and I will forever take all the help I can get. However, it's a great feeling for me to know that if any sort of traditional therapy doesn't work for my child, she may learn the skill through a different approach. And that provides this mom with a lot of hope.
-Lanie and Annabelle
Annabelle has been using TalkTools 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. More videos are available on TalkTools YouTube channel.