Archive - June 2010

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Rabbits, Rabbits, Rabbits
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Using Sign Language To Support Speech In Kids With Special Needs
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Who Let The Dogs Out, WHO, who, who, who?
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Was It Something I said??

Rabbits, Rabbits, Rabbits

No, I’m not reciting the rhyme that is supposed to ward off campfire smoke. I’m literally saying there are rabbits, rabbits, rabbits EVERYWHERE this summer. Back yard, front yard, side yard, boulevard…there are herds of marauding fuzzy bunnies everywhere. They’ve been grazing on our lawn, which I don’t mind. I’d like it more if they’d focus on eating the weeds. So far they’ve stayed out of my garden, but that’s probably due to the fact that I’m a horrible gardener surrounded by excellent gardeners. These bunnies are well fed. And they’re BIG. And plump. I wonder if any of my neighbours have ever trapped one? Maybe roasted it or put it on a spit? Eww. You’d have to skin it first though, right? How disgusting would that be? Remember that movie “When Rabbit Howls” starring Shelley Long? And why do I even know that? It’s odd I can remember who starred in a 20 year old made for t.v. film, but I can’t remember where I left my car keys (that’s not a metaphor by the way. My keys have been missing for three days). Anyway, if a neighbour had skinned a rabbit I suppose we’d have heard some kind[…]

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Using Sign Language To Support Speech In Kids With Special Needs

“It’s Signing Time With Alex and Leah!” This is the refrain that goes through my head all day, every day. Avery loves this show more than any other. Signing Time teaches sign language in a simple but engaging way. We signed with DS from the time he was a baby. He picked it up right away and was soon signing, “More cookie please!” before he could speak. It was fun and novel, but soon he began talking a blue streak and left the signing behind. Then Avery came along. When she was first diagnosed with a chromosomal abnormality doctors told us she would likely never be verbal. We had already been signing with her for “fun” but continued to sign out of necessity. Her signs came slowly but steadily. As she grew she was able to easily communicate her needs through sign. Eventually she had more signs than her average peers had words. Her vocabulary was extensive and impressive. I can only imagine her frustration level without sign language. We were confident in what we were doing but others questioned our choice to sign with Avery. “Why would she even try to speak if she can just sign?” I explained[…]

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Who Let The Dogs Out, WHO, who, who, who?

It was a ruff night last night and I’m dog gone tired. The kids didn’t wake me. They slept like babies. It was the wild animal kingdom outside my open bedroom window that woke me. It started with a single dog barking his furry head off, which soon spread to dogs near and far (I don’t care about the far off dogs, it’s the near ones I had a problem with). There were low growlers, high pitched yappers and assorted yelps in between. When I thought the canine chorus couldn’t get any louder, a screeching cat joined the cacophony…or catcophony in this case. To make matters worse, the woman in the house “kitty” corner to us (funny enough, not the cat owner, but the owner of the dog who started it all) began yelling, “Lucky! Lucky stop it!! LUCKY!!!” It took every ounce of self control I had not to yell, “Sir (this woman has a very deep voice), stop shouting at your dog and bring him inside!” She finally got Lucky under wraps. Then the cat settled down and the other dogs followed suit. In the words of the Baha Men, “Who let the dogs out?” and why? It[…]

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Was It Something I said??

Avery has been attending an amazing program. Only six children are accepted into this class which focuses on intensive speech and communication skills. She loves it. I love it. And I especially enjoy watching the action behind the one-way window. As I observed along with a handful of other parental voyeurs, I struck up a conversation with the mother of one of the boys in the class. We exchanged “diagnoses and prognoses” and the basic list of details. The next class, this same woman was cool and barely seemed to know me. Perhaps she was having an off day. However, the next class she sat beside me and was back to her warm, chatty self. But today, she was stand-offish once again. She didn’t sit next to me and only nodded a brief hello. And to make things even more bizarre, she suddenly referred to herself as the boy’s aunt. What the hell? Was she unstable? What? At the end of the class this afternoon I overheard her mentioning her twin sister. Her TWIN SISTER. Hahahaha! The boy’s mom and his aunt take turns bringing him to the program. Phew, I was starting to think it was something I said…because[…]

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