Monday, August 13, 2012

Feeling the Need to Justify

Ever since Colin started his preschool program in April, we have noticed that Colin's speech skills are really starting to flourish.  The more practice he has with talking, the more improvement we notice with his clarity and amount of words he is saying.  We partly attribute this to the fact that Colin absolutely LOVES to sing and dance and therefore, a lot of the words he can clearly say are part of the songs he is singing (Mickey, Fresh Beat Band, Jake & the Neverland Pirates, "Call Me Maybe", and so on).  

It still surprises me today to hear him saying things to me in 2 word phrases that I didn't know he could say.  In fact, we were at the endocrinologist the other day for a checkup (yay! we can take a break from the thyroid medicine for awhile to see if he really needs them) and he was so good and comfortable with what the nurse and doctor were doing.  When the nurse was leaving the room, she said "the doctor will be right in" and Colin turns to her and says "bye nurse!".  We didn't even know he a. knew what a nurse was and b. knew the word nurse.

At home, Colin talks all of the time.  It's not that I underestimate him, but he completely takes me by surprise with what he can say when we never hear the words and then they just pop out!

However, we often find ourselves in public places where people that Colin knows (and those that he doesn't) will ask him questions that he knows the answer to and will not talk to them.  I feel the need to say things like "oh, you little stinker", "you know what .... is", "Colin, say hi to ...", "oh, he's just tired" and won't get a response.  

I feel like I need to justify his lack of talking to something that the person can say "oh, that makes sense".  Sure, Colin has speech delays and there are words that he will say that are not very clear, however, I don't want people to think that he can't say it.  I'll often ask Chris why I find it necessary to say these "justifications" for Colin when I know that he can say these words, phrases or answer questions.  

I am in a place where I am OK with the fact that Colin has Down Syndrome and that he struggles with certain skills.  However, I don't want his lack of "talking" in certain moments to overshadow the great progress that he has made.  So, I still find myself justifying his lack of talking when we are in public if it warrants it.  That's not to say he never says anything, but I suppose he has to be ready and on his terms to decide to talk in certain moments.


Now, I completely understand that these types of things happen with "typical" children too because Kailey is so shy when she meets people or hasn't seen them in awhile that she appears standoff-ish and won't look anyone in the eye.  So, I know it's a universal kid thing.  

I have been trying to get Colin saying the ABCs for awhile on video now and have several different clips, however, he often gets sidetracked when he watches himself in the video camera.  This is the best I have so far, but you can see him go off on a little tangent.  He needs guidance in saying the alphabet, but can do the majority all by himself when he isn't rushing or being silly.  I am so proud of my little boy!

And on a side note, I find it so intriguing to see a picture of Kailey and one of me at the same age.  Resemblance much?


Suze said...

First of all, Colin has grown so much dice I last saw him! As for his alphabet skills, that was awesome! I was impressed how he got himself back on track with some prodding even after he got distracted! And I do the same thing with Tommy as far as "justifying" because he gets shy or is tired. You and I probably do it the same amount of times for the same reasons...being shy all of a sudden even with people he sees all the time, and being tired. Miss u guys! Saw your parents at ShopRite tonight!!!

Adrienne said...

Great job Colin!!! I watched it with the girls and they thought it was so cute! They loved all the cute faces he makes too.

I'm the same way with Bennett. He often becomes "pouty Bennett" and sticks his thumb in his mouth and refuses to talk when people ask him questions. It's annoying but I'm hoping with school it might get a little betters. Sounds like Colin is really picking things up at school from the other kids and teachers and that's wonderful!!

Jenny said...

I can so relate to this post...When ever some one talks to Russell and he just looks at them with a blank look instead of responding to them or saying hi back I almost panic...I don't want them to think he is unintelligent or that he has no clue what is going on...I often feel the need to justify it too...To make him say something so they knows he is smart. I hope there comes a day where I don't feel the need to feel that way...But for now I do.

Aw, that video just about had me in tears...What a great job Colin did with each letter!! I'm so proud of him!

And yes, you and Kailey look A LOT alike! Cute pictures :)

Rochelle said...

Trust me I totally understand. Alayna talks in 7-8 word sentences at home but didn't speak at preschool for the first 6 months. She finally warmed up and started speaking.

Becca said...

You and Kailey could have been twins!! And that video...oh, Colin, you are awesome!!! Great job!!

Btw, I totally get what you mean about justifying. I wrote about using Sammi's age while she was still 5 as justification for things. Like certain things were acceptable for 5, but not for her being nearly 6 at the time. Now that she's 6, I'm running out of excuses for things. Not like I haven't lied and told people she was still 5 from time to time... :-(

Wren said...

I love all the words and the signing! Speech is by far our biggest struggle so this gives me hope that one day the words will come!