Nathan is Hebrew and means "gift from God" - we couldn't have been more blessed than to have been chosen as his parents!

Thank you for keeping up-to-date with Nathan. We hope you visit often and enjoy experiencing our son's journey as much as we do. Please feel free to leave comments.

We love hearing from everyone!!!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Turning One is So Much Fun!!

On Sunday, Nathan met his cousin Mairead, for the very first time! Mairead and her parents live in Boston so we don't see them as often as we'd like. But, Mairead has her own blog too - so we don't miss anyhing!

Having these blogs makes being away from each other easier. I've also noticed that in some ways it can have the opposite effect because while everyone is catching up on the blogs - personal communication decreases! I'll bet there is a researcher out there somewhere just waiting to study this!!

This picture is my cousin Maghan, Mairead's mommy!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

This Day In History

On this day in history in 1904, by some accounts, the ice cream cone was invented by Charles E. Menches during the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis.

This is important information for our kids - who doesn't love ice cream cones!!!

Here are some pictures from physical therapy this week. Nathan is working on his protective reflex, which simply means bracing himself when he falls forward. He is also working on learning to sit up from a lying position - he is doing really well with it.

In special education we are working on presenting toys and objects to Nathan's left hand - although he does take things with his left - the right is dominate. I don't think this is an issue - he's going to be a righty. We are also working on playing peek-a-boo and making banging noises.

In speech therapy we are working with all those lovely chew toys I posted about last week. As you'll see from the top picture and this one Nathan has taken to them just fine. In fact, he really likes the foamy ones that we dip in water.

These exercises help strengthen Nathan's facial muscles.

Monday, July 21, 2008

An Expert Opinion

In a previous post I explained some Down syndrome language guidelines. However, in full disclosure I had some questions and linguistic reservations to a few of the "rules." So, I decided to take them to an expert.

I sent an email to Dr. Deborah Tannen, a well respected Linguistic and Communication Professor at Georgetown University and New York Times best selling author -here is her wiki if you're interested. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deborah_Tannen

This is an excerpt from my email "Upon receiving my new Board Member binder, it included an entire page on the proper linguistic rules for Down syndrome. There is a carnal rule that you can never say "Down's syndrome" and parents are extremely offended if they hear a person with Down syndrome referred to as having "downs" - it is insulting and demeaning. I realize I'm new at this but I just don't get it. If the syndrome is discovered by a man named "Down" why is the possessive use of the word incorrect? Also, is it really demeaning if people say "downs" or is it simply lazy American English or ignorance. I've done a little research on different types of syndromes and it seems many are referred to in the singular form but some are also possessive with a hyphenated "s." Would you please explain to me what I'm missing?"

With great surprise I received a reply!!!!

Dr. Tannen said, "My take on the issue you mention is that the meaning of words rarely resides in their dictionary definitions but rather in people's associations with their use. With conditions that are stigmatized in our culture, terms tend to become stigmatized by association, so speakers who want to identify themselves as enlightened and disassociate themselves from the negative connotations often adopt new terms. As an example, I myself am hard of hearing. I've noticed myself changing the phrase that I use to identify this handicap, adopting the more contemporary "hearing impaired." I saw nothing wrong with calling myself "hard of hearing," but I noticed others didn't use it anymore so I switched. I have been chastised by a reader who took issue with my using that term, too. I think she said I should use something in the spirit of "differently abled" though I no longer recall what it was. It sounded to me like a euphemism, which I believe indirectly implies this condition is so bad, I can't even name it.I guess what it comes down to is that those associated with Down syndrome have adopted a new form to identify themselves as enlightened and dissociate themselves from those with less enlightened views. It's not about logic so much as use."

Our Boogie Boy!

Nathan had a very busy week. So, we have lots to report and I'm going to do that over the course of this week. We have lots of new therapy exercises and pictures, we took a mini family vacation, and Nathan's cousin Mairead turned one!

As you can see - Nathan tried his hand at boogie boarding and from the onset he appeared to be a natural! The Terry Family had a wonderful opportunity to spend the weekend at a lake house in Lake George and we really enjoyed it.
A very cool decorative feature of the lake house is all the wild animals (that are everywhere) and custom wilderness painting. What an amazing lake house!