We were blessed with the opportunity to spend a day with our buddies over the weekend. The oldest, in kindergarten, has Downs Syndrome and has very little speech capability. His brothers are now 5 and Joe the chick magnet's 3rd birthday is coming soon.
Each of us should be grateful evolution realized early that most children are better off with young(ish) parents. My age would not be ideal. I have neither the stamina to keep up with 3 year olds nor the attention span to watch Max and Ruby 25 times without committing a capital crime. God bless mothers.
If you have ever spent time with Down's kids you know they are sweet, but their inability to communicate frustrates the daylights out of them. We all demand to be heard. It's a human requirement, being heard, listened to and understood validates our existence. It is how we define our individual selves. Young children who cannot make their most basic wants known can be terrors.
Technology has been a god-send for these kids. Some Nobel awaiting genius created the "talker".
The talker comes equipped with a number of push button pictographs, that when pushed will vocalize the answer to any number of FAQs. With the push of a button mom and child hear that he wants orange juice, not apple. The red shirt, not the blue. COOKIE COOKIE COOKIE. Intuitively, kids know how to operate electronics and within an hour, learning he could communicate changed his life. You could see his stress fall, and confidence rise.
"Our" kids still play hide and seek with us, each of us taking turns hiding or counting. For the first time, the eldest could be counter with his talker sounding out 1,2,3 (it was hysterical) he was so proud of himself. Who knew Stephen Hawking sounds like a 6 year old?