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Tricycling at 3
Welcome! I'm Andi, mother to Jett, 4 years old, who has Down syndrome (also called T21).

I'm sure you've already heard the negatives about T21: slow development, language impairment, mental retardation and a whole host of possible health problems.

Basically, you have also been told to lower your expectations for your precious baby.

But, in actuality, the biggest handicap that your baby has may be your lowered expectations!

This blog has been created to change that. Everything you have heard and read previously is probably about children who grow up untreated for T21. But with proper intervention—physical, nutritional, neurodevelopmental, medicinal and environmental—your baby's future will be full of opportunities instead of obstacles. 

I share with you a proactive plan of action to treat your baby's root causes to prevent many of the symptoms of T21 from surfacing and how to deal with the symptoms that do appear until we find a way to prevent them. There's new research everyday! This is an exciting journey and I'm happy to guide you and to learn from you as well. 

These blog posts were created so that you can find your own way and create your own path but, if you would like me to help you create an action plan in a more personalized way, (even help in finding local practitioners, etc.) you can contact me for my services which can include Skype, a phone call and or follow up emails, depending on what you would prefer. 

Let's raise those expectations...

The cutest pumpkin in the patch! 20 months
Jett is doing great! He rolled over at 5 months and drank from a straw at 6 months (the day before his heart surgery). He said his first meaningful word at 8 months, his first two-word sentence at 11 months (but didn't again until about 17 months).  At 14 months, he pulled himself up to lean against me and furniture and could walk a few steps when assisted (just as a test).  At his 16 month speech evaluation, his language skills, both receptive and expressive, were deemed "average for his age"! At 16 months, he was a master stair climber (on hands and knees) and has a great love of words and books. Here you can see Jett pretending to read at 16 months.

At 17 months, he started sight reading! The words he first could recognize were: craaaaack, gulp, hug and whoosh. (I guess that reveals a little about his fun personality since all but one word is an onomatopoeia. He didn't always say the word, but loved to hear you read it out loud. Oh, and when he pointed to "hug," he expected you to hug him.) Here's a video of him reading at 18 months: at my husband's blog. And another of Jett reading 9 words in 1 minute 40 seconds. 

At 21 months, he has started to sound out words; "bus" was first. After that, he attempted to read any and all words out loud. It's amazing to me! It was so fun and rewarding to point to a word while I'm reading and hear him joyfully pronounce it. (A favorite book to read with me at this age was Whoo Goes There?) Here's Jett Reading Out Loud at 23 Months.

At 25 months old, Jett read a whole book out loud, by himself for the first time. It was 27 pages long — The Eye Book by Dr. Seuss. It's late kindergarten level.

At 27 months, he sang "Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are" completely on his own (just that stanza) and I hadn't been singing it at all that day either! So, although his expressive language (words coming from his own head and not mimicking) does need work, it is coming along nicely.
At 17 months, happily surrounded by words!    

At 28 months, he tells us when he's hungry ("hungry" "bite" "piece" "food" and "eat"), what he wants to eat ("beans", "rice," "soup", "pizza" [gluten and casein free], "yogurt", "avocado" and "chicken" most often), when he's thirsty ("cup," "drink," "thirsty," "milk," "sip," "water," "juice" and "coconut [water]"). And he lets us know what he wants to do like "outside," "book," "bath" and "computer"  with his requests for "Mary Poppins," "Readeez" and "Winnie da Pooh" about 250 times a day. And he tells us when he's "hurt", "happy" and "hot." He tells us to "hurry" and "stop it." He also says "I love you so much!" but not that many other phrasesfrom his own head.

At 33 months, he uses such sentences spontaneously and appropriately as: I dropped it! No, thank you. This is cold/soft/Brittany, etc. Where's the pillow? Mommy sit! I got it! Hmm let's see. Mommy…Daddy… Jett...together… family! He now can sing over 50 songs while they play and sometimes on his own, just from memory. (Most impressive is "Lordly is the Life I Lead" from Mary Poppins.)

At 36 months, he enjoys activity magazines such as Highlights' High Five or NWF's Wild Animal Baby magazine that has stories, I Spy and cooking and craft activities. Yesterday, he said: "There's a mouse. A mouse goes 'squeak, squeak, squeak' everywhere!" He also enjoys his Pre-K worksheets where he loves to practice writing using a dry erase marker. He now substitutes lyrics to change up songs and make them express what is going on that day.

His auditory processing reached a level 3 at 3 years, 3 months. At 3 years, 4 months, he said his first 6-word sentence (that he made up and that I'm aware of): "No one will sing the blackbird song!" (It was late and we were too tired to indulge him.)

At 4 years old 1 month, we have such conversations as: 
Jett: What's this? (referring to the song that is playing from The Jungle Book)
Me: It's 'I Wanna Be Like You'
Jett: Noooo... Is this jazz?

another

Aunt Suzie: What are you doing?
Jett: (playing air guitar wildly) I'm singing the blues!
Me: The blues? What other kinds of music is there?
Jett: Reggae... Classical... Hip Hop... Salsa... 
 
He is alert and curious. At 28 months, he loved to explore the house and get into everything he could. His favorite things to play with were my purse, the contents of the grocery bags, the utensils from the dishwasher and the sandbox. (Yes, he had toys — I promise! He still loved his magnadoodle.)  He has been using his potty for #2, since about 11 months old (it happened before we realized it so we're not sure when this started). At 33 months, he started to verbally let me know when he has to go #2. At 24 months, he could do the large-pieced wooden puzzles (like Melissa & Doug brand) on his own. At 33 months, he can do 8 piece jigsaw puzzles on his own without too much frustration.

Through my blog, I will explain what I have done and am doing with Jett to help him reach his potential. This information can help you to give your baby the opportunity to flourish. If your loved one is no longer a baby, welcome, there are plenty of tips for you as well!

Secure in his masculinity, even at 9 months.
It's natural to feel overwhelmed.... There's a lot of information here. You can't learn and do all of this in one day (or week or month...)! I'm hoping to save you the time and anguish of sorting through all the information that's out there on T21. I want to allow you to spend quality time enjoying and nurturing your child rather than spending the time that I already have going through piles of research. I am very open minded and update blog posts according to my latest findings, but I do have specific beliefs about what works best and what doesn't and I only share what I either endorse or am still open to and researching. Feel free to share your experiences, questions and solutions you may have privately or as a comment for others to see.

Keep up-to-date by subscribing in a reader to this blog or sign up to get each new post automatically sent to you by entering your email address in the "Follow by Email" box on the right of your screen. I'd love to know that you are actively benefiting from this blog by signing in as a "follower." It's a small way to let me know you are listening! You can friend me on Facebook as well where I share DS related news and let you know when I've updated posts.

A note to new parents: Please do not feel that you have to give your sweet little newborn with his/her delicate tummy lots of vitamins and supplements right away! My Jett couldn't tolerate anything other than breast milk for the first four months and he's turning out very well. Some babies can take a vitamin from day one and some babies can't tolerate anything until 6 months old. All is not lost! It's most important that you attend to his/her basic baby needs plus extra stimulation. Your love and attention is what he needs most during his precious early months!  Please see the Prenatal/Newborn Page or Baby Page for details on what you can do now.

Plan of Action______________________________________________

Yes, all of our children have Down syndrome, but each one is unique and shows different symptoms from having DS. In fact, “among numerous abnormalities reported in DS no finding except for the extra chromosomal material is constant” (Jeziorowska et al, 1988; De La Torre et al, 1996). (Remember this when your doctor/practitioner says, "It's just DS and there's nothing you can do.") This action plan, therefore, is set up as a guide that you can tweak for your child's specific needs.

1) Get inspired! Check out how well children who have benefited from biomedical intervention and alternative therapies are doing:

2) Fix the common, often overlooked, medical and physical situations our loved ones usually have.
 

a. How to Find A Quality Physician & Get Organized with a Medical Notebook

b. Learn about Immunizations. Please take the time to see this easy to understand video on Vaccines and Down Syndrome.
 
c. Treat the Thyroid Vital! 100% of our kids will develop thyroid issues. You a have a small window to fix before permanent damage sets in.
d. Lab Tests: Which to Request, What they Mean and How to Get a Good Blood Draw
e. Learn How to Keep Nasal Passages Clear and Mouths Closed

f. Protect Your Child's Hearing

g. Celiac Disease & Down Syndrome

h. The Heart & Down Syndrome & Preparing for Heart Surgery/Hospital Stay

i. Help Your Child to Communicate Better

j. Find out why Crawling is more Important than Sitting or Standing and then learn tips on Teaching Your Baby to Crawl

k. Learn how to Stimulate Growth

l. Low Muscle Tone: What to Do

m. Support proper sleep. See Sleep Study: The Results

n. Learn Natural Ways to Help with ADD & Hyperactivity

o. Improve Your Child's Vision
3) Clean up your family's diet with non toxic foods & foods that best support healing and health. See Nutritional Page for details.

4) Detoxify your surroundings. 

This issue is more important for our children than you may realize. See Environmental Page for details.

5) Start at-home therapy. 

See Therapy Page for details.

6) Supplement Accordingly. 

Our kids have much more difficult time with getting nutrients from food because of gut issues so supplementation is very important for their health and well being.

Starting with a Down syndrome-specific multivitamin is a good idea. Then you can figure out what your child might be specifically deficient in by checking out Signs of nutritional deficiency, getting muscle tested from an NAET practitioner/ some chiropractors, getting blood work for vitamin levels or by getting tested from a zyto machine technician.

NAET, (Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Technique) are energy treatments that help "clear" allergies. You can read the book: NAET: Say Good-bye to your Allergies by Davi S. Nambudripad or go to naet.com to better understand how it works.

ZYTO technology uses quantum physics as well as established Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) technology to measure fluctuations in electrical conductivity of the skin. The response helps the practitioner to see how the body responds to the items being assessed, which ones it prefers, and how much it prefers them.

a. Which Multivitamin?

b. Here is Jett's Supplement List with links to my explanations as to why I chose them and how I give them.

c. Learn about The Connection Between Alzheimer's Disease & Down Syndrome

d. Here is one mom's Journey with Diet and Supplements
e. Another mom shares her simple explanation of why she supplements her child with DS with more tips and explanations.

7) Learn More & Get Connected
8) If you can't find the answer to your question in this blog, feel free to contact me and I'll be happy to help you find the answers. And again, if you would like me to help you create an action plan in a more personalized way, you can contact me via email or Facebook for my services.

Blog Pages

Prenatal & Newborn Care Start Here 
 
Infant/Baby Care Start Here

Children Care Start Here 


Adult Care Start Here 

Treatment can be started at any age and with great results. It's never too late to make a difference! 
 




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Posts for Parents with Teens


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