Having a Child with Down Syndrome, Part CXLIV: Two Hands

As I’ve mentioned before, Alice had a stroke when she was born, which has made two-handed tasks super difficult. In the past 4 moths, there has been a new skill that has come on line: Alice is now cutting her own food with a knife and fork, and honestly I couldn’t be more surprised by this.

Here’s why – we’ve tried at various points over the years to help teach her to use two hands to cut her food and failed. It was just frustration for everyone involved. Then out of the blue, Alice decided on her own that she wanted to do this. I don’t know what clicked for her, but she was adamant that was what she wanted to do.

She uses her weak hand to hold the fork straight up and down and then cuts with her good hand. It’s not without its frustrations. Alice needs cues to cut things into smaller pieces so she doesn’t choke, and yes, she’s choked a couple times, but this is still a big milestone. She was clearly motivated and that paid off.

And that has paid off in other places as well. We got a puppy this spring and we’ve been teaching Alice how to train it and how take care of it.

Ignore that her mask dropped below her nose. Yes, we work on that. Instead, look at her hands. She’s using her right hand to adjust tension and is keeping her strong hand as a backup on the leash. She’s clearly very proud of what she’s doing and again, motivation is a big part of this. Way to go!

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