Tuesday, March 17, 2015

"Daddy, What's Down Syndrome?"

I have a new essay up on Yahoo! Parenting. It's first piece for them and I'm glad to have a space that's interested in my more personal essays (especially with their giant readership). It's about talking to my daughter about her brother's diagnosis.
"My daughter is five and she likes to ask questions. Some are awesome: “Why can’t you see black holes?” “Why is sugar sweet?” “Can I be the first girl president?” “If I do this, will it explode?” (Answers: physics of light; chemistry of food; yes you can; and “Stop shaking that bottle right now!”).

Other questions are more complicated: “How do babies get inside mommies’ tummies?” and “Will you and mommy die?” We try to answer all questions honestly, but also appropriately for her age.

A few weeks ago, though, Ellie asked me the one question I’ve been preparing for since before she was born, but was still not ready to answer: “Daddy, what is Down syndrome?”
I told her. Read on! :)

My kids. Nice hats.

3 comments:

Thomas Peyton said...

I read your essay on Yahoo earlier, great stuff! Can you tell me the name of the iPad speech assisting application Nico is using?

David Perry said...

We use proloquo2go, but you should consult with a speech pathologist with real expertise in assistive tech before buying it, as it's expensive and not the only option. Another is called Touchchat, for example.

Thomas Peyton said...

Thanks much! I'll talk to our speech therapist and go from there!