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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Impressed With Her Flexibility

Kids with Down syndrome can be extra-flexible. I think this is a result of having low muscle tone/loose ligaments.

When Kayla was a baby/toddler people would often comment on her flexibility. I'm talking about being able to raise your legs straight up in the air almost touching your ears.

Lucas is impressed with Kayla's skills and has commented on this several times over the past few months. If he's trying to get by her in the van she swings her legs around and up for him to go across instead of bending her knees and bringing them to her chest.

A few months ago he was trying to find the words to explain this to me and he came up with: "Disability people can do something that not disability people can do! Watch Kayla, see how far her legs go up? Wow! Mine can't do that!"

(Before anyone says anything, yes, I realize that was not People First Language; however, he's 5 years old. He was trying to figure out the words to use to explain what he was thinking. The PFL will come with time. I modeled it for him by saying, "I don't think it's necessarily that people with disabilities can do that, I think it's more likely that people with Down syn can do that because they can be more flexible.)

I thought it was cool that he thought it was cool that she could do something that he couldn't, because she has Down syndrome.

My kids humored me and re-enacted Lucas trying to get by Kayla and Kayla raising her legs, so you can see that flexibility in action.

This doesn't have anything to do with being flexible, or having Down syndrome, but Lucas noticed something else Kayla can do that he can't (yet!). She can pick him up and carry him, but because she's still taller than him, he's not able to lift her up. He thinks that's cool too. "I can run faster than Kayla and Kayla is stronger than me!"

And since Kayla had those Shoulder Buddies I mentioned in the previous post about sensory issues, I did a quick video of what she likes about them. 

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Anonymous said...

You want people to understand that kids with DS are basically not all that different from NT kids? Show them the bit of the video where Kayla briefly interrupts herself to say "Sto-o-o-p!" to her annoying little brother. You can't get more typical than that!

Michelle said...

Haha! So true! You don't know how many times a day I hear her say "stop" in that exact way to him; or "leave me alone!"

Anonymous said...

if you ask me, what Lucas was saying was something positive in words and thoughts he had to express himself on her ability and because she has a disability. a connection in his brain. :) Yep, they are typical siblings !! love mom