March 13, 2010

The year of the notes?

I believe I have some new competition in the writing field. It appears a new Shakespeare has emerged in the form of a 16 year old girl with down syndrome. This young lady lives in my house and doubles as my daughter. Her name is Alex; she has been authoring note, after note, after note. How very extraordinary.

I am not sure why this prose ambition has arisen. My initial thought is Alex is emulating me; she knows I write almost every day and enjoy my journalism efforts. That is most likely not the case and I am giving myself way too much credit. But, something must have happened to trigger this dormant desire. I do not know what this could be and I am curious. I should get to the bottom of this, or perhaps it will remain a mystery.

This is a new area of growth for Alex; she is confident and proud of her letters, and I love it. To me, writing is such a great way to communicate. It is editable, erasable and polite. To be able to communicate effectively verbally, and in written form, is a skill she will need to succeed in her adult life. In Alex's case, her recent communiqu├ęs have also been very self serving.

Here is an example of Alex’s latest correspondence, presented to me with pride and much anticipation:

Hi Mom - Alex wants this laptop on her birthday in June 19. Whats up to you. I let you think about it. She wants this so much. I want bowling party. What day and time. I let you find for me. Any day any time works for me. You set it up, fine by me. I love Mom, Alex B.

Although Alex did mix up her pronouns a bit, which is currently one of her IEP goals; she still communicated her desires and thoughts in a clear and logical fashion. I hear loud and clear that Alex wants a laptop and a bowling party for her birthday. She loves me too!

As an aside, Alex had a very successful bowling party for her 16th birthday. All of her favorite people attended, and she got lots of presents. At least I know where this request originated.

For this note, Alex printed out a picture of a laptop from the computer, and created stationary with a laptop letterhead. I am very impressed; Alex is almost as good as me on the computer. Perhaps this educational growth and behavior should be rewarded. Dear family members, here is my overt request to get Alex a computer for her birthday.

I am quite proud of Alex for this accomplishment. It is another example of what we call the mountaineering phase of her development. Valley, plateaus and mountains, today we are climbing...Go Alex!

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