Given her recent 22q13.3 deletion syndrome diagnosis, we will be starting a brand new direction next Tuesday. We will be starting an Augmentative and Alternate Communication system called Picture Exchange Communication System or PECS. The general idea is there is a phrase at the top of the board "I WANT" for example. Below it are multiple pictures. If Zoe, for example, had a few games that had balls in it, and she approached us saying "Mommy/Daddy, ball", we wouldn't know what she wanted, and risk a tantrum if we give her the wrong ball game. With PECS, she can approach us with her board that says "I WANT" along the top, and point to a picture of the ball game that she wants. This way, we know what she wants, don't risk a tantrum, and she has an alternate way of communicating with us until she becomes more verbal.
We're both very excited about this new approach, and really look forward to starting it. Her speech therapist says she has talked to a few clinicians who have used this program with kids with 22q13 and say they had a lot of success with it. Well will definitely keep everyone posted about her progress with this system.
Her speech therapist, and the Children's Centre social worker have both recommended we start Zoe in a daycare setting, two mornings a week, to try and start integrating her into school and start to teach her some more structure. While her father and I were very iffy on this, given that both of her conditions are rare, and even we are still learning how to help her, we have decided that this may not be such a bad idea/ We are looking at entering her into the daycare at the same location as her playgroup. This way, I can drop her off in the daycare, take her brother to playgroup, and pick her up on my way out. If anything were to happen, I would be in the same building. If she needed some form of extra attention, or if the daycare providers had any questions or concerns, I'd be right around the corner. So, we are going to start thiese processes next week.
Will update again soon!