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

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


This morning Victoria discovered that there was a bolt on the inside of the cloakroom door. Plaintiff cries of 'wee' coming from the inside alerted David to the situation. Samuel discovered that the window wasn't open so a rescue attempt through the window wasn't possible. Victoria, on being encouraged to open the door, did fiddle about with the bolt - but to no effect. Ron came to the rescue with a crow-bar! Victoria seemed quite amused to see ron's face through the crack created by the crow-bar. The door-frame now needs replacing and the lock will be moved higher up. Victoria was told that it was naughty - but whether she will try it again, I couldn't count on. Actually, she's done rather a lot of naughty (or adventurous?!) things today - including (shock, horror) walking right through the kitchen to the utility room!

it was a relief when she went for her morning nap.

At Ikea yesterday I bought Victoria an easel with a blackboard on one side and whiteboard on the other. AT least she can access this without running the risk of ruining her clothes. The other children have, so far, used it more than Victoria has.... I did read somewhere that children who have unlimited access to writing/drawing materials learn to read earlier - something about the processing of the information occurring on the paper in front of them I think.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

growing up and results

This picture of Victoria was taken just after she had chicken pox - I took a series of 6 pics in which she looks very grown-up.
Things which Victoria likes doing right now include plucking on the strings of the balaika (which Richard is attempting to learn to play). She pulls on a string and then listens to the sound as it dies away. Yesterday she signed 'joanna cuddle' though the 'words' confused people so it took some time to figure that that was what she was saying...
A new batch of (secondhand) books arrived in today so she sat checking them out before returning to her balalaika practice this morning.

The speech-therapy assessment report came through earlier this week . It was not very encouraging and when I go to the 'introduction to our services' day on Friday I shall ask whether they have anyone who has informed themselves of the research done by the Downs Syndrome Ed. Trust in Portsmouth. If they haven't I don't see that they can be of much use and and prob. will be somewhat of a frustration if we have someone regularly (as they propose after Christmas).
In spite of my 'free' week before starting up schoolwork, I haven't sat down and worked out a plan for what I am going to do with Victoria - consequently all the ideas are bouncing around in my head and I am trying to remain aware of all the potential learning opportunities (and not just concentrate on speech/communication) which come up throughout the day. I DO need to formalise it a bit so that I don't miss out anything important though. I've got lots of resources (in the way of 'stuff') but without planning I could fail to get the best out of them for Victoria.
I re-introduced some word/picture matching this week - from a cut-up ladybird first words/pictures book and she wasn't, at least, digging her heels in like she was last time we tried.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


while we have been away the biggest improvement has been in Victoria's speech. She enjoyed hours and hours on the beach (though we had to watch her - she has an obsession with shoes and wandered over to anyone who had removed theirs and attempted to make off with them on her feet...) and in the sea. She's still not quite running but is getting sturdier on her feet.

Victoria has learnt to say when she needs to go to the toilet and has been perfected an extended version of 'no' - it sounds like 'no-ah' and mostly is loudly produced!

The last week of our time away was sharing a bungalow with another family whose daughter (18 months older than Victoria) also has d.s. One of the delights was to hear the other little girl talking (yes, you could sometimes pick up the words she was saying) to Victoria and Victoria waiting for her turn to reply - they both stuck at it surprisingly long - it's great to see someone a little bit ahead of Victoria. Another of the delights of that week was the 'special needs' parents coffee-morning. A great deal of encouragement was offered in the face of REAL trial and difficulty. The fact that our 'special needs' children are fundamentally 'special' in their role in the body of Christ and that they can contribute in a way which no 'normal' person of any age could BEGIN to was what we were all left with. I was moved to tears when we were told of a dear lad who is autistic responding to the news of the advance to the Glory of a dearly love Aunty with a thrilled 'wow!!!! - so she's gone to see God!!!'. Oh for a faith like this.....
+ Raising Down Syndrome Awareness -