Updates on Victoria Lily Joy van den Broek, born 120705.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Little animals

I think I will have to develop more tolerance. Glad that I've not been out and about VERY much since Victoria was born I am disturbed to have noticed in a couple of recent (non homeschooling) adult conversations an attitude towards Victoria akin to how one might speak about a small pet animal. I'm sure they MEAN well (one of them is even a father of a 20+ y-old son with ds - he was put out to state care and has ended up in a 'sheltered' house with others similarly afflicted) but I have to keep a tight rein on my tongue and my attitude. I daresay it is good for me.

As far as I see, any of US could have been blessed with an additional copy of chromosome 21 and the fact that medical science has progressed such that basic re-plumbing on major organs - such as the heart - enables such people to live healthier lives these days - gives us more challenges for longer BUT when I look into Victorias eyes I see a person. Limited by the hypermobility, oversized tongue and poor auditory memory but extended by honest affection and willingness to love, forgive and forget.
I'm convinced that as her understanding increases she will be able to express something of her relationship with her Heavenly Father. Right now she's picked up someone's Bible and sitting on the sofa turning pages. Stopping at one she will make heartfelt singing noises - which I'm sure the Lord appreciates!!! I suppose most Christians don't really know what to do about 'disability' because their version of 'the faith' is heavily dependant on an intellectual apprehension of and accurate verbal expression of certain doctrinal truths. As for Victoria, she'll just get on with blessing others with her smiles and songs as an expression of her joy in the Lord. And after the ressurection she won't be limited by the effects of the fall - and will be totally intelligible and no less joyful.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Victoria has learnt to get someone's attention and then pat the ground next to her when she wants them to come and sit beside her - very endearing but perhaps the thin end of a wedge which could end up with her ruling the WORLD! She's got almost all the teeth she ought to have - at long last - and uses them very well. Eating has been pretty good recently. I still, largely, keep her off wheat and cow-dairy and too often forget to give her her vitamins.
The work we are doing in the morning has a heavy emphasis on discriminating between big and little and the children are aware of that and help her in this area throughout the day. She can now drink out of a normal beaker without (always!) drowning herself but still doens't get much opportunity to feed herself with a spoon because much of what she eats isn't very compliant at staying on the spoon.
We're resuming the language group a week on Monday and we are waiting to hear from a speech therapist who will evaluate where Victoria is up to. I've arranged an afternoon workshop on the subject of music in the development of children with D.S. which Judy Barker from Milton Keynes is coming to do - I'm looking forward to that because it will help parents to realise the importance of music as an aid in gross motor, fine motor, cognitive, social as well as being valuable fun!

Thursday, April 03, 2008


Victoria is still sleeping (as are most of the others...) and so I thought I'd better update here. We had a delightful week in Wales where we managed to get out for a walk in the hills a couple of days and saw REAL sheep (rather than only on the pages of books) and lambs. Chicks have hatched at home and have been in the lounge (until yesterday when they got too smelly and were evicted) which provided great entertainment for Victoria though she didn't much like holding them. While we were away Victoria had lots of new people to relate to and her communication skills were developed further. STill not many real words but she was particularly intrigued by the baby also visiting and she enjoyed imitating the sounds the baby made.
Now Lucy is home Victoria is re-establishing a relationship with her and doesn't view her as quite so scarey now. A friend of Lucys who works as a classroom assistant in a special school in Leicester was visiting most recently and taught us a few more Makaton signs as well as being very 'at home' with Victoria. Now the room-tidying and change-round continues and I've discovered lots of old tapes which I'd forgotten about. The books go tomorrow so I've to list the rest of them - so it's all 'go'. Victoria new adventurous streak means that for the time being she is fastened into her pram with some things to do - there's no telling what mischief she might get up to while there is no one to trail her and the seeds on the windowsill are a particular concern!
+ Raising Down Syndrome Awareness -