Friday, May 25, 2012

Resorting to Bribery :-)

There are hundreds of us, even thousands of us... parents, siblings, caretakers... people who know—really know— someone with Down syndrome. Combined we have a wealth of knowledge that surpasses any book written about Down syndrome, any expert’s opinion, and all stereotypes.

The only way to harness that knowledge is to come together and share it. Does left-handedness occur more often in the population of people with Down syndrome? Only we can answer that question. I am asking you to share your expertise on your child. I did a little begging on FB and now I am going to try bribery...

Take the poll over in the left column, leave a comment saying that you did (and how you voted if you want to) and you will be entered to win a $25 Amazon gift card. If 500 people take the poll, I will up it to a $50 gift card. (If you are one of those who already voted, just leave a comment saying so and you are in.)

Thank you for participating. Every one of us matters.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fact or Fiction? Many People with Down Syndrome Are Left-Handed

Being left-handed means that the right hemisphere of the brain is dominant. The right side of the brain controls music, art, creativity, perception, and emotions. It is what we would call the holistic thinking mode. Left-handed people are more likely to be visual thinkers.

Right-handers have left-brain dominance which controls the areas of speech, language, writing, logic, mathematics, and science. It is thought of as the linear thinking mode.

In most cases being left-handed is a matter of heredity... it must be passed down to you by your parents genes, however there is some evidence to show that people with neurological differences tend to be left-handed. People with Down syndrome would fit into that category.

It would be easy here to tap into personality stereotypes and suggest that maybe the 21st chromosome has something to do with right-brain dominance but instead I am going to go with personal observation. I have three children with Down syndrome, all biologically unrelated, and guess what? They all favor their left hand. The oldest is 5 and the youngest is 2, so none have completely settled on which hand it will be but for now they lean left.

Teaching a baby with Down syndrome to eat with utensils can be difficult if the baby is a budding lefty trying to use righty tools. My one daughter refused to self-feed using a spoon or fork and continuously ditched the utensils to use her bare hands. It was frustrating for both of us until I realized that she wanted to, and would, use utensils in her left hand to feed herself.

If you have a lefty, you may want to pick up a set of left-handed utensils for your budding eater. These EasieEaters curved utensils go for about $15 on Amazon.

If you are not sure yet which hand your sweetie prefers, you can get a set of Benders that your baby can practice with. I like these because you can bend them side to side or even up to suit your child’s current skills, though I find them to be only really useful with foods that stick to them because of their small bowl size.

Your Turn
Take the poll in the sidebar. Is your child with Down syndrome a lefty, righty or ambidexterous? Let’s find out if there is any truth to the left-handed rumor.