Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A pretty girl waiting for the bus

I have been asked whether Ava is deaf, and if that is why we teach her sign language. I have also been asked whether I know sign language or am I learning along with her.

We are all learning sign language as we go, just one word at a time. Ava is not deaf, and apparently contrary to what we thought at first, is not even hearing impaired at all.

The reason kids with Down Syndrome are often taught sign language has to do with their low muscle tone and coordination. Because the extra chromosome affects every cell of their body, it makes everything they do more difficult. At a Down Syndrome meeting we attended one time they compared it to us trying to go about our normal routine wrapped in Saran wrap. Imagine how difficult that would be. The same goes with speech. If you think about it, speech requires a lot of different muscle groups working together properly to make even one sound.

Sign language is an easier way for these kids to communicate until their fine motor skills are developed enough to formulate words that are understandable.

We have a little ASL pocket book and we just look up words as we need to. Ava can use, I think, around 20 signs now to communicate what she needs. I don't know about you, but I find that amazing!

So here is her latest, she just learned this morning as we were getting ready for her first day back at school.....Enjoy!


15 comments:

Terra said...

And to think at one time you were worried about her hair growth. Look at those beautiful pigtails! She is DEFINITELY a pretty girl!! So sweet Charissa!

Lacia said...

She is such a doll Charissa. She has grown up soooo fast, and that smile of hers, totally infectious! Hope she had a great day at school

Jeremy and Melanie said...

She does look beautiful! And so smart too!!

Marlita said...

Love the hair like that!

Rebecca Rovenstine said...

She is precious!

The Monroe 6 said...

Well if she isn't the cutest little thing!
I love watching all of her videos.
She seems to be thriving!!
yeah!
~amy

Christina L said...

She is pretty. Glad to see she has great self-esteem. Thanks for posting.

kirsten said...

Annie-Grace and I so enjoyed watching Ava....she is beautiful, and love the pig-tails!

Alicia said...

oh she's a doll!!! she IS pretty and is incredible how much has changed in less than a year!

Dalene said...

Cutie pie!

Christina said...

She's so pretty!!!! Her hair looks really good..are you guys doing anything?

June Berger said...

Oh Charissa, she is so beautiful! How it blesses my heart to see her looking so lively! She and Meredith's Emma just bring joy to my heart every time I see them. Two miracles of God!

DoveFamily said...

I love this video, and she looks so adorable!! Very pretty indeed :)

Tim Rovenstine said...

Seeing this, I was going back in the files of my mind and remembering ONE YEAR AGO today.

Susan said...

Seeing Ava's videos always brings a smile to my own face! I love her enthusiasm - and look at those rosy cheeks and sparkling eyes. What a wonderful change from that barely-there little girl who came home last year - and kudos to you for seeing and nurturing Ava's potential. She is precious ( and pretty, too, of course!)

Susan in Ky