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

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Following a week of having 4 extra children in the house Victoria (although she has missed a few of her morning sessions) I've noticed that her speech has continued to develop. Today she amused me with requesting a biscuit and then going on to indicate 'wait'!
when she was looking through her words (from the old Ladybird first picture book) she read more of them then I thought she could.
I'm now turning my mind to how I can teach her Bible truths and a book which I bought at a recent Tedd Tripp conference seems ideal as a basis. The only problem is that it is decidedly Baptistic besides missing out essential stuff about communion and the church. Our pastor has, very helpfully, highlighted areas in which I can use the picture-prompts and re-define them as well as other areas in which more information (and more pics) need to be added.
I intend to use the pics as prompts (because visual memory is good for children with D.S.) for catechism questions. Over the Easter break I'm going to make it a priority to sort out these - perhaps photos stuck on card with writing on the back. I had been using some Bible picture flash-cards but the easy ones (which v. knew very well) went astray on that day when she wandered off to our work-place and messed everything up...
This afternoon I asked (a reluctant) Joanna to take V. out on the trampoline. She was plonked onto the little one and folded herself over looking a bit despairing. I called out that it was the big trampoline she wanted to go and the look of joy on her face when she got there confirmed it. When she was in, a bit later, and I was telling someone in the house about it she looked knowingly at me (and said/signed 'big trampoline'). Thomas, whilst pleased with this progress is frustrated that she doesn't SAY more - all we can do is keep the conversations going and look forward to the time when she gets it all together.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


After months of working with Victoria on the words from the ladybird 'Baby's first picture book' - first with the pictures which had words at the bottom with which which Victoria had to match the laminated copies of the words. Next with a photocopy of the picture/word with the word folded to one side and the picture on the other (so she could see only the word but could flip it and check she was right) then on to words in sets of four on one card. Today I gave her the chance to read what I was showing her first and she read3 or 4 of them, quite readily. One of them she tried something else first and then (having realised it was wrong herself) corrected herself to say 'flower'. I was VERY excited (I seem to be developing my excitableness...) - I even got her to look at a set of 4 word cards and select the one I asked her. I guess the next thing woudl be to ask her to give me two word cards which I ask her for. However, for the time being I think this a major step forward.

Yesterday I cut out circles, large and small, and hearts, also large and small. After laminating them I had Victoria sort all the hearts into one basket and circles into another. On Saturday we were told that words which you train a child to say will soon appear in everyday language - so I hope she will notice circles around her through the day. The shapes were in 5 different colours so we can go on to 'give me the big red circle' - and also proceed to have phrases which she can learn to read, then match (or find the phrase which matches a selected shape). I'll try to restrain my enthusiasm and not push her too fast.

today I hope to make a dress for victoria and a matching one for her little friend who, although younger, is the same size - I WILL take a picture and post it.

Monday, March 02, 2009


Yesterday, on the way back from a wonderful day out (in which Victoria spent a lot of time having fun with a little friend of about 2 years old) the current 14-y-old lad wanted to hold Victoria, knowing she would go to sleep (everyone wants to hold her when she's sleeping - oh, provided she has a nappy on of course....) and when we were nearly home I heard in a deep voice and satisfied tone 'you know, Victoria has a very sweet snore'....
Yesterday, too, Victoria went to sunday school for the first time - she loved it and James made sure she didn't cause too-great disruption.
The day before that I had a very exciting time at a day conference done by D.S. OK. Lots of information was dished out and the power-point slides were reproduced (almost small enough to require a magnifying glass!) with space beside for writing on . Now all that remains is to trawl through all the pages and implement what is appropriate now and DO it!
Earlier last week I had a lady from Basingstoke phone me who is thinking of home-ed for her little lad. when we get together that will give me a further opportunity of learning, by teaching, the very important stuff about reading, writing and speech. I think that the most important word of the day was 'stability' - to have the whole body stable (which is no mean achievement for someone whose muscles are like over-stretched elastic bands...) is key to SO MUCH - not just walking. Ideas to improve stability led me to become convinced that a climbing frame would now be very useful for Victoria, so I'll aim at getting one sooner than later.
Also last week, on Friday, Victoria 'vanished'. She was discovered in the room where we do schoolwork - she could have been 'anywhere' since the door was also open. Within half an hour I was at Mothercare selecting stair gates to limit Victoria's roaming either outside or beyond the bathroom. Now all we have to do is remember to keep the doors closed when she's up. I plan to make some 'no entry' signs (like on the roadsides) for on the gates and hope that Victoria will learn not to go beyond such signs. If that becomes habit it will make it easier to keep her safe at church where she wants to wander off through doors and has no sense (like other toddlers in new territory) of keeping near family.
What an action-packed existence Victoria has, Samuel just came in to tell me that she's really getting the hang of putting three words together - signed or verbal - in order to make a request!!
In the early hours, while Victoria was sleeping in my bed, I was listening to a Dan Barker v Doug Wilson debate on the evidence for the existence of the Triune God. The comment which Dan Barker made that 'there can't be a God because there are children who suffer' ... 'anyone who sees children suffering in hospital' must know that. I looked at Victoria and wondered at the mystery of the incalculable JOY which Victoria not only HAS but also IMPARTS - whether this is 'because of' or 'in spite of' could be debated - however, the reality can't be disputed. My experience (from the inside of hospitals treating suffering children) is that there is a greater tenderness on teh part of staff and parents and a greater thankfulness and joy (rather than stubborn resistance to thankfulness such as Dan Barker demonstrates) from everyone than seems reasonable - but there it is!
+ Raising Down Syndrome Awareness -