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Glowie’s Story

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glowie.gifYou can tell from the moment she opens the door that Glowie’s name suits her. At just three years old, she is indeed aglow with a sweet, mischievous grin as she greets her speech-language therapist, Ali, and sits down to remove her shoes. Her grandmother, Maria, perches on a chair and takes in all the activity little Glowie generates. “My dreams for her are that she learns how to verbalize what she wants, that her fear of other children will fade, and that her confidence will grow,” she says. “Coming here has helped that along.”

Like many children with Down syndrome, Glowie has a journey ahead of her. Yet she is already making rapid progress, says Ali, who is concentrating on helping Glowie develop “foundational” skills such as making a request and signing her needs when she can’t vocalize them. “We’re working on how to play together, take turns, and ask for help,” says Ali. “Glowie’s beginning to sign, which is great. Typically, kids will sign, then add words along with the sign, and then move to just words. But it’s a process!”

Maria watches as Glowie successfully signs her request to play with a bottle of bubbles. “Me!” she adds, tapping her chest. Ali and Maria look at each other and break out into smiles. “That was terrific, Glowie! You said ‘me!’ Good job!”

“It really helps me to be able to come here, see what they’re doing and then use that at home,” says Maria. She says that Glowie is more frequently using the signs for “more,” “all done” and “help” at home. “It’s a relief to know what she wants. For a long time, we just didn’t know, and that was scary.”

Glowie has learned to help clean up after herself at home – Maria sings the “clean-up song” they learned in therapy while they work – and engages in some of her favorite activities, including using Maria’s stethoscope to check on various objects around the house to make sure all’s well. She is, in so many ways, just like a typically developing child her age. “I like to recognize the little milestones along the way with kids like Glowie,” Ali says. “She’ll get there. It will just be on her own time!”

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