Friday, October 5, 2012

Social Skills

Many people think that all people with Down syndrome are social and outgoing.  Unfortunately, that is not the case with Sweet Pea.  She is social in that she is friendly and responds to people when spoken to, but primarily in familiar settings.  Sweet Pea doesn't initiate social interactions nor does she know how to maintain an interaction if started by a peer.  Most of this is likely the result of her speech delay as it is hard to carry on conversations when you are extremely limited in what you can say and even more limited in what others understand.

While we have years of struggle ahead of us in the speech world, we are working on some other social skills that she can master now.  She can (and will) learn to look people in the eye when they speak to her and when she speaks to them, how to take turns and share in these classes, how to request help and express her feelings, etc.

Like her other classes, for the most part she thinks these are fun.  When they aren't out in the community they are in a therapy facility that has ball pits, climbing stuff, trampolines, etc.  Lots of fun stuff that keeps her very happy.  We had an issue with her original class because there was a child that ended up scaring her, but now that we have switched to another class she is doing much better again.  This new class even has a couple of girls which I think is very helpful as well.  The classes are small and only have about 4 or 5 kids and there are always two teachers.

Here are some photos of Sweet Pea's first bowling experience.  She had a blast!  She had to wear her regular tennis shoes because they didn't have bowling shoes in a small enough size for her.

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