My Daughter, Maya, was about to celebrate her 4th Birthday! Of course, this would be a time to party but for Maya, who has Down syndrome and has some issues with dealing with new situations and events, the occasion might not have been so much fun.
She is hypersensitive and is not comfortable with changes in her routine and unexpected events. I decided that part of my party planning and preparation needed to be to work with Maya on her anxiety. I began by sitting with Maya and looking at photographs from her last birthday and other parties we had been to. We talked about balloons and party games and sang the birthday song together over and over again.
I then decided to use Special Words by Special iApps to reinforce the images and to open up more discussion. Maya loves using the app and gets very excited when I introduce a new profile of images for her to work with. After using Special Words, Maya was freely talking about Birthday Cakes, Balloons, Party Food, and Gifts and seemed to be looking forward to the idea of having a party. I felt confident that I had succeeded in lowering her anxiety and had actually managed to enable her to relax enough to enjoy the celebrations.
She was happy when the bunting went up around the house and played with the balloons as I blew them up. For a child who would normally be quite anxious at this point, Maya was coping really well and I was hopeful that her birthday would be a true celebration.
As it turned out, Maya loved her big day and clapped and cheered with every part of it!
Barbara and Maya