Thursday 18 April 2013

Reverse Shuffle

Another post see's another achievement for our Bud. She has now taken her shuffling to a whole new level. Not content with just moving forward she's been working on a reverse version which is best described as a 'moon walk' for bottom shufflers. It's brilliant to watch – she tucks her head in (to optimise aerodynamics obviously!) and then she's off…I've included a short clip below which I guarantee will make you smile (sound recommended).

Rosie has also now developed an attraction to zips. She is able to grab the zipper from our tops and pull them undone before zipping them back up again. She does this with great concentration and while it may seem a rather unimpressive achievement it does show a small development in her coordination – an area she usually struggles with. For her to be able to pick up such a tiny object as a zipper between her finger and thumb and keep it held tight is something she certainly couldn't do a few weeks ago. It dawned on her just the other night that her sleep suit has a zip on and as she sat on Karen's knee before bed the little monkey decided to undress herself!

On a slightly more random note, last week I was enjoying a play and cuddle with my Bud when she gazed up at me and placed her chin on mine. She just kept it there perfectly still for ages as if waiting for me to make the next move – unsure what to do and feeling slightly under pressure to deliver I played along by opening my mouth and closing it again. She waited a moment, chin still glued to mine, then copied me. Each time we've cuddled since she initiates this random game which is great as it's another step forward in her ability to communicate. It is also exercising and strengthening her jaw by raising her head up from her chin!

Finally for those interested (that may not have seen the posts on Facebook and Twitter) below is a link to a recent interview I did for the lovely folks at MAD Blog Awards – something I'm not used to doing and truth be told I was a little worried about. Anyway I'll let you be the judge…

MADS 'Meet a finalist' interview – The Future's Rosie

Tuesday 2 April 2013

Scratches, Socks and Sitting Up

Well that's Mad March over with for another year! It's been predictably chaotic trying to accommodate the long list of Birthdays and our Bud has been making further progress with numerous new achievements – Not all of them good I might add!

She's always had a thing for grabbing at our faces and whilst I've mentioned it before it never seemed more than just a cute little phase – an 'of the moment' little character trait of hers. However she seems to be using it more and more to the point where each of us have at least 2–3 visible scratches on our face – daily! I'm quite sure it doesn't help when we yelp out 'NO!' as she is getting a reaction but it's almost impossible to duck out of the way and ignore. Her latest trick is to gently stroke your face looking at you with those big doe eyes of hers then quick as a flash grab your cheek or nose and in more recent cases actually draw blood! She then stares for a second before letting out an infectious giggle. We are hoping this prolonged phase will soon pass, however if anyone has a similar experience and has come out the other side please do share your secret!

In better news Rosie's bond with her brothers is quite evidently increasing. It's fair to say that (the majority of the time) Rosie is the only one in our house they actually listen to! Since she has become mobile she especially likes shuffling up to Harry and hugging his leg. It's the sweetest thing to watch – a real raw bond and show of affection. As she holds his leg she looks up to make sure he is concentrating on her and not the telly then babbles away to him.

As you know Rosie has been sitting up and shuffling around for quite a while now but it wasn't until last week that she was able to finally get herself into an upright sitting position from laying down. I have captured the moment on video (below) which shows a few failed attempts followed by an angry outburst before finally managing to sit up. We are overjoyed at this achievement and now she sits up so quickly as if she's been able to do it forever. It just goes to show that Rosie will do things in her own time, when SHE is ready and not a moment before!

Finally, I was so proud to learn that my 10 year old niece Martha had taken it upon herself to ask the Head Teacher of her school, St Benedict's Catholic Primary if they could wear odd socks to school to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day. The children were asked to make a donation in order to wear bright colourful and odd socks with all proceeds going to Cheshire Down's Syndrome Support Group. The whole school turned out in their odd socks and raised over £80. BUT that wasn't all, they took the opportunity to educate the children about DS by inviting a lady from Cheshire Down's Syndrome Support Group to give a talk. Rosie popped along as well to show her support and gave Martha the chance to show off her cousin with great pride. The children asked some wonderfully innocent questions which may seem funny to read now but in truth are probably questions many adults wouldn't know the answer to, or might themselves be afraid to ask – questions such as:

"Is there a cure?" (No, although there is plenty that can be done to help someone with DS live a healthy independent life)

"Is Down's syndrome a disease?" (It isn't, nor is it something you suffer with)

"Do you have it because your parents or someone in your family have it?" (No, it is a genetic condition that happens perfectly naturally at conception)

I'd like to thank all the staff and children of St Benedict's for joining in the 'socks fun' but more importantly for taking the initiative to use this day to educate and raise positive awareness of Down's syndrome amongst their pupils.