Hello and welcome to the If We Knew Then podcast. I’m Stephen Saux
And I’m Lori Saux and this episode is about summer. Summer fun work how we work as a family and time eleven is easy except for Liam who were no character work doesn’t stop summer does not stop the work for Liam and we’ve learned that that is a good time to have our impact yeah yes now Liam is eligible for summer school and %HESITATION after I think he went to summer school one or two years why is twice and then we realized that it wasn’t really having the effect that he needed is not the same support a fair amount that he has that schools not inclusive environment national day class format that basically yeah and then it for him and also it does gear towards other other needs and so it wasn’t really the supports that Liam near what we what helps him to rise to the occasion and we realize that in the same amount of hours if we gave him the same amount of time every day that we saw an immediate impact I think right was last year was the first year that we didn’t send summer school last year last year we didn’t send a summer school and I’m not advocating that for anyone because also we do we should mention that we do have the benefit of that we usually don’t work during the summer right so yeah you have a lot of time at least one at least one of us is always here correct this summer and last summer both of us were here for the most yes majority of the summer so we do have that luxury and a lot of people do not have that luxury and even if you did do summer school to some you could also do it on those days but also over the days you don’t have some some some school isn’t that long actually just for six weeks in rent and truthfully I think this kind of this approach was born out of a friend of ours with a son who has down syndrome as well have found a course online and I immediately saw the impact that these procedures and applications eyes I saw her son just blossom so we started to implement our own him and break down like certain things that we find that Liam response to repetition of things as far as our son I can’t speak for every child with down syndrome because I believe that everybody learns differently so I I would never venture to say that this is it but we find that repetition really works with him and having a designated time each day and we trying to trying to you know and do try to do five straight for five days a week on major things like speech math spelling reading that’s going to basically cover every and then anything specific you wanted to try to keep it within one and a half to two up two hours is not a lot and that’s usually when behaviors are up to I I I one time I because I was able to go like one hour because it is just the repetition the repetition picking picking what we’re gonna wear that the need is I have a notebook I had this year I think when we did you do the alphabet you gonna do they have that over and over right right so you get it that’s what we’re we’ve kind of chosen some things money accounting for marrying because he’s going from second to third grade so we wanted a summer was blockage and also money really helps with multiplication but as far as intense right I’m twenty fives which I don’t I don’t know if any so what we do is I would you can jump right into it right yes okay as far as the work goes this is get that that’s and that’s what we do in our day to is I think having something that once he gets used to it and it’s just like okay we’re going to do the work and then after the work there’s always a row whether it be swimming whether you are going to the zoo what %HESITATION watching a movie on your iPad %HESITATION Tuesday movies at the movie theater R. five dollars let’s go the movie theater it whatever it is there’s a there’s a reward there and so he definitely knows that’s coming and he’s gotten used to it first and it gets easier as the weeks go and I do think actually the it’s like concentrate school work so I believe it’s equivalent to what he may get within a full school day especially just without the social without a social bunch and that’s why we take him to and then there’s days like there’s days that if we’re going to go to the zoo we’re going to do this and we’re going to do art so that counts is like the socialization that counts as doing our there’s music there’s so many different things that we try to like employment tweet he so response to music and I think he really responds to just like our daughter just trying something new and being included and sometimes it’s just because we have a daughter who’s preteen and it’s just giving them that permission to kind of all right this is what we’re going to we’re just going to do this and it’s maybe not easy at first but then Hey look how much fun that is and it quickly becomes just the norm yeah and it that’s where repetition helps right special at Liam you just do it over and over and then after a few times like this is what we do the way we kind of figured that the best for us we have a composition book start out with the day and month and year we right now have a great weekend and do that for any great weather picture garden first grade second grade sixth grade whatever it is for calling him writing so he writes that doesn’t what is the needs is yelling words for him he writes the spelling words to go over the spelling words mustard oversight words with a big stack index cards you just he likes to actually hold the cards say the word set it down we’ve learned that that kind of the way to get him through is that just hold a card from his face any but that’s been a progression now he that’s that wasn’t always he just likes it but what I did with that book to break it down further as I said okay there is %HESITATION T. what are his services were and actually coming off of the I. E. P. in reading all those reports this is where you start to go forward and make the difference because whatever we see that from the I. P. you also get a vision of what they see Liam’s needs are also what we see in the image needs are so I broke that composition notebook into O. T. what’s work for O. T. his writing so I we got the work for the great he’s going into so we could front load it we requested it we paid for the books and so I use the spelling words to not only front load for so they’re not the first time he sees them so he’s used to these words but also as a %HESITATION teeth so I’m helping him right and I’m helping him form those letters and so it doesn’t it doesn’t have the time to lack because if you go from writing every day too and I don’t know where this I don’t know who’s listening and what grades were in and what levels obviously liking kindergarten the writing was light like you can but you get to what but what’s great is you get to watch you get to watch them grow over the months you get to be there and see the work and do the work and and see the progress so whatever grade level it is for us going into the third grade he needs to work on his writing so we have his words so they’re not the first time and also he’s or two that we have maths and we chose were working on money and multiplication and I’m gonna tell you if you want to teach multiplication by fives and tens hi five is that’s the way it works great and fun it’s like any kid they learned more yes they’re doing an engaging and it’s fun so we do have five of course we think the high fives as PT yeah hi fives and then we do high tennis so you have all the coins out you can have those back we have a little ziploc baggie put them back in that’ll O. T. at yet it’s just kind of like having distinct categories and then you do you kind of and and we try to put it into the rest of the day as well which is a lot of fun just like different ways to if we were doing the spelling words and we see with the spelling words are we’ll use those words more yeah that always come up during the day or week and then we’ll go %HESITATION bird how do you spell bird like if there’s a bird and he doesn’t know he’s doing the work but he’s doing the work and and what I’ve learned in my journey with teaching both of my children because my daughter used to get very frustrated too because she just wanted to know it instantly but what I’ve learned is patience and letting go of what I believe the end result should be and just know that I look at it more like I’m inputting I’m just I’m introducing an inputting and I’m making him comfortable with what he’s learning and that’s it and it was the same and when I started to take that same approach and very patient approach with my daughter I saw a big difference as well our daughter is it does not have down syndrome so if I take the same approach with Steven just having the patience and just saying Hey this is what we’re gonna do and let’s do it no matter what I think it’s a very human way to approach learning that can be very challenging if I went to any new experience and you took your time and patience with me and front loaded information I mean what so I wasn’t surprised when I got asking for information and and every situation so how long will I be there whether that is expected on something we actually did was Sophia nope we want we could have we should have yeah we had something that we do now and that’s something that and incorporate and I think like when we’re saying about how we work together I think that’s one thing because having lamb has an older sibling and I I think siblings I mean the benefit and just the relationship and who she is a human is is largely affected just like you’re affected no matter what who ever your family is but I think just seeing how hard he works then that gives her you know she does the same thing where she works over the summer on whatever is come and she’s not afraid work right we’re going to do it again it’s just going to become the norm that we need to work at this certain level to see success that we want that success level we want so and it’s okay to work it’s it’s okay to work it’s okay to play during the summer too but the weighted to actually have a better experience to the school year is to do a little in the summer and that she gets on that level and for I just think for ling and we’ve just broken it down to where we’re just trying to give him and it worked last year where he went to the school year with a little step up you know he was familiar with things he his first quarter of math he got a three now after being in school and not receiving this has support that he’s supposed to receive or the same way that we we give him support here he fell down by the end of the school year he was getting a one in math seven three out of four percent of for that right I don’t know how everyone’s cool I gives great but he was still getting a th three and he knew how to do math going not three hundred eight point three right no three ads on it one two three four four being more right we see the difference between when he’s being supported and I think this year going into the school year we know that the employees learned a lot from last year which I think that we always hope that we do and we’ll take from that a definite better communication and more %HESITATION if I have to request every week what is the curriculum and how are you doing it then I guess that’s that’s what I have to do because he definitely benefits from being supported so %HESITATION the first part of summer is work we’re going to work we give them one week off today we went to the beach we given one week off to alright this is you finish the school year so they got to work and then you because honestly it’s work for the Olympics yeah they got to relax does he work yes but honestly it’s for us to and this is you know knowing our circumstance we’re we’re home we know that that’s the unique circumstance that not everybody has or how many civil is does your child have or how much how much other work do you have set out before you we understand that that varies on all different levels this is just hopefully you know something that maybe some ideas that during your summer that you can use because you can ask for what’s coming up we ask for answering when we answer it E. story %HESITATION it what are the stories what what is the what is the books and my husband went online actually and was able to use books much cheaper much more affordable than they would sell us at school you can maybe even put your IP is possibly I guess you’re right yeah I get that the school would actually own those books right some schools have some systems are that you can do it online and so that’s that’s something that honestly I don’t they didn’t we just books work for us so I can then that’s more for how I learned and how I teach it has a work book yeah tangible book is what I like I said I don’t have a knock I even have to read my books I like to hold a book and read a book that’s just that’s me so that’s you know that’s helping us with such compassion is that hi everybody I understand everybody does things differently %HESITATION so we get what next year will be our focus is our focus I think is on reading and writing and on spelling and honestly his spelling test if you just looked at him I think the most he got right last year were three out of ten are threaded twelfth but then looking at phonetically right phonetically that’s huge so if you get the spelling tests and they’re like oh one out of ten you can look and then say well look at how phonetically that’ll clock just C. L. okay right he that shows he understands phonetically sound he just doesn’t and and sometimes like speech can like a speech deficit at that definitely impacts the ability to spell it impacted our daughter because she had a %HESITATION a speech challenge and it definitely affected the her spelling tests yes in school and then when her teeth came in fully that she was her spelling improved so different things a fact and in all areas we don’t like we’re trying to rush through just like we try to rush through like work we want to get the work part out of the way yes we organize it you know and then we also know you know what he’s going in the third grade the concept of months not fully there days of the week were not fully there were right date not fully there so these are things that along the way he wasn’t the fact the fundamentals that he didn’t the foundations that he didn’t really receive totally so we’ve been working on those so every day at today’s Tuesday I take a calendar I got a calendar from the dollar store so he can look at the calendar I show on the month at the beginning of the summer I showed him every month so it would be refreshed I don’t know what he knows totally an exciting thing for him was to reinforce his birth date yes that’s something he really likes of course so we should wear that was in the calendar and we we that’s something that is a a multi weekly question to him Hey what’s your birthday has that unique well it comes because every couple every maybe even every day he’s like so can we go to Disneyland for my birthday it was code is a so we have John when that’s gonna happen and when on your birthday and then now he’s the February nineteenth he knows he’ll be ten and he’s going to go to Disneyland and then to regenerate the days of the week I say today is Wednesday what was yesterday yesterday was %HESITATION Tuesday Tuesday what do we do when we write down what we did yesterday or if I wrote it down already and we go over what we did yesterday and then we write down what do we want to do today and then tomorrow since it’s open and blank we say with the data so today’s Wednesday yesterday was Tuesday we went to the movies tomorrow is Friday today is what are so we do this partially for us our own education tomorrow is there I always wanted to be Friday Donna said Thursday and so that but it’s just finding the areas that you enter an array and then I just do repetition every day it really sets up well for the summer some of the school year too because men schools a lot of work and Liam works very hard with all the services so this is the way that that transitions easier getting back into school plus I always take weekends we can’t take at least one day during the weekend to be like a little mini summer we’re just reinforcing what we’re doing we’re at least going over his next week’s words just give an extra day or two with those words the spelling words %HESITATION sight words stories that we’re gonna read for comprehension reinforce math so it’s a it sets us up as a family not only helping Liam but like we said before showing our daughter how you need to work and it’s okay to not get something right away it’s okay to have to learn it yes I think it’s a great loss for her to say great I think Hey just period because that’s just for enough for everyone just over and over and over until you get it you’ll get it you will get it now and I think that’s I think it you know for her that was a really hard lesson to understand that she had to work at learning something like discarded stations yeah I wanna know things right away you want to be I don’t know if that was right away I want to be a grown up right away self judgment I’m so you know that is a great learning experience for everyone specifically for our daughter as well just to know Hey %HESITATION bill easier on yourself just keep going due to again with that could be sometimes a car could be to get violent comedy juggling could be running make it a fun doing it yes aching baking which is really great for measuring and for science and for me to find we have two final reasons to do it and it can be fun that way baking cooking in the kitchen as great as far as there’s so many different ways things that you know they can learn even if it’s just on the timer when something is being cooked to just say all right now we’re gonna count down from wherever your child is their starting point even a little higher and then boy it when when the M. gets to the point where he knows the countdown he gets to do it along it’s exciting and then maybe the number increases and increases and increases so what we find with work is that we request the following years what what he’s going to be learning to front load their less that end of the year at the end of the year request for the following year so the following year time to get it to us if you could do it if it would depend on when your I. E. P. comes you can actually ask for it you know then that’s a good time when you’re having that discussion because you can discuss other ways of supporting him or what he’s going to need %HESITATION assistive technology and taking that home so that way you can front load everything into the assistive technology even if you can’t physically get the text books if you can just get the number take a photo with the publishers %HESITATION numbers are you can take a photo of that parade down you can look up any book with that number I forget what we cannot book like I’ve gone for nine dollars look for eight dollars right it was used was in good shape I mean you can mode I remember I was got praise god use US freight so the work part if we knew then request following years work what they’re going to be especially like the first you know the first couple weeks there just reiterating maybe the last year so find out what they’re going to be working on so you can front load it has a no down side sight words on to index cards get a nuclear first for speech we approach it through sight words and also with the spelling words so he writes the spelling words and then I also write those on a note card and I incorporate that into all the sight words so he just gets use to articulating the words that he’s going to need to articulate during the school year and its work and then you but you get to hear at them get better and I and what I’ll do is on the words that are really challenging to say I turn him over I read it phonetically on the back of the next card thought even though H. R. O. U. G. H. T. right T. I. spelled T. H. A. W. T. thought and I separated into sellable so T. H. A. W. T. and that way and he’s seen you turn the car nothing so he turns it right so can you find little things like that you find little things that make it fun to one that is one of the sight words or maybe spelling word was done and we’ve had the last word the last word of this big pile of a hundred and so index cards that he goes to each day he knows done means he’s done he’s done and then we also do with the words thank some words we will hear in movies right so a member bugs is one that he right and he loves to Manjeet I know it’s it’s P. G. thirteen but he’s watch Jumanji and it’s great but there’s a part where Jack black’s as rude and so whenever he gets to rude it’s you can accent out and how well it helps because he may not pronounce it correctly fully and then I I I started to say %HESITATION like in Jumanji and then he hell pronounce it fully so that he knows on some sort of context too that is a fun context not just on the fly and I’m coming out with don’t be rude like what is that right for like bugs for bugs life he sees the title about his life and he likes that he’s on a watch that great that might be something that would be an end of the week kind of award well it’s also happens to be one of his work on his word so bugs thanks sees it heard and he sees it said here since season he he sees it as a word and he hears it and said and that reinforces and also a fine way to help with speech and also with reading as we put the subtitles on everything always and he let he and here is now really the point that he stops the movie retail site I would like to work I want words please and then but when now when he’s read watching his movies hill on his iPad he stops some to say the dialogue because he’s recognizing the words we do we do the work to reinforce what he’s learned we do the work to bridge the gap of what he needs and we do the work to introduce what’s coming because we feel and we found that with Liam repetition is definitely the thing that works and also making it fun and incorporating it into everyday so even pretty little things around the house little note cards around the house which we haven’t gotten we’ve never that we haven’t but it’s definitely I’ve heard that definitely work we %HESITATION he was like a person a lamp and put on a laugh right and he listens to music and so I wake him up with music every day so he sings and you know what he doesn’t know he’s doing speech but he is so it’s it’s pretty great and %HESITATION and that’s it and then every day and we we as human beings falter sometimes and can’t do it every day but we try to get it in and an hour and a half we’ve had one or two days that have gone to two hours but that’s mostly because he’s really tired but we’re going to push through and if I see him getting tired then I just kind of up our bridge the gap I’ll take the lead I’ll say what’s this and he doesn’t know quarter today so I’ll be like member it’s the biggest one it’s a here you can read it on there it’s a it’s a cool and then has a quarter so you help you know you help them along you do because it is the summer bridge the gap to isn’t there not bridging the gap and bridge the gap until he he can right left him until he can plan his own good so this this is about just about you know the importance of not letting the summer get by but there’s fun ways to like his risk we go on we swim and that’s great P. T. and getting his body moving and sensory and socialization we’ll go see movies we may take advantage of the museums I don’t know what ever I don’t know what’s at your disposal but there is lots of fun things out there especially during the summer time there’s always a %HESITATION activities and when there’s activities your local library one thing that when we did take it we took a trip and we were in Boston where New Hampshire and the thing I loved the most was just just how positive and it was just so much education but they both are kids that know that they were constantly learning yeah that’s an area of the country where you hit that’s a hit huge history class rape Paul Revere throws the Alcott every I mean G. A. S. rising just yes I’m amazing literature or just an and what I loved and what I took away from last summer was thorough and his comments on learning and yet he can land can sit in a classroom with a book and learn but he can also old he can he can just go to the speech room and be given a piece of paper with a picture of a dog and a cat by a bar none and let’s work on speech there or we can go out to the farmers market and made available name vegetables or plants song and sing a song or %HESITATION just so many different ways that he can still and he’s going that’s the thing about education that’s the thing about this whole journey about education because I don’t know how it’s changing how it’s gonna change or what’s going to be out there for him or what what but a fixer I don’t know but I know it’s changing and I know it’s getting greater and better and more accessible at least that’s my hope what he can learn just by living just by being now and seeing the sky is blue or in the garden and feeling the leaves and the ground and here’s the soil and we’re gonna want text science class right there and planting a plant so what I loved what I learned on our trip to the east coast was just how through life we learn and there’s a lot of pressure put on my child when it comes there’s a lot of pressure and also a lot of low expectation put on Liam as far as his education and curriculum goes but what I love is that I know that if I just keep filling him and filling him that his life isn’t just about from August to June and getting a one two or three and what are his grades and do you know this because it’s a culmination it’s a culmination of every day that makes who he is and we have these challenges and we these things that that kind of common that we don’t have control over and the positive ones left him and the other ones maybe bring challenges but he’s gonna learn and so if I can find a way to just make it part of his life and not just this thing that has a stigma and is mostly a challenge and at this point it’s been like a commentary on what they believe he can’t do if I can make it to where he can see and have the lesson of what matters is what he knows he can do and his life as a journey of building and learning every date that’s education that’s an education that’s a life educated is that he can learn every day from simple things you can learn about art he can he can learn by cooking he can learn how to tell time you can learn how to count despite doing a high five right and I think that’s as far as the summer goes way and still and we have a program that we used to support him so he can go into the school year and it’s mostly so he can just go into the school year and he’s not going to fall into the stereotype that they try to put him in jail because he’s worked really hard to learn but then also worked to integrate education and the education isn’t just in a school book education is all around him every aspect of his education and what he needs to learn is and just living right so that then that bring summertime and and life and learning into something that’s not so intimidating and I think it also is good for our daughters it’s exciting and it’s not intimidating and it’s full of possibility and hope just like summer is it’s full of possibility and hope and it’s this blank page but that’s how every day every single day he should be approached right so we can give him that foundation in the summer than what that’s like the best thing so that’s what we do with our summer we we work hard and then we play just as hard even if it’s just playing monopoly which is a great way to teach her daughter math we’ve learned so that’s great that’s our summer is a lot of work and a lot of play and you’ll see the benefits and it’s not like %HESITATION it’s summertime great work escaping school it’s like %HESITATION it’s summertime now this whole field is open and we can continue to learn I continue to have fun well thanks so much that’s our summer is a good one.
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