Tonight, Henry fed himself mashed potatoes. He sampled some chicken and blueberries before letting his plate fly (which means "no more" at our house, whether the thrower intended such or not). Later, he went potty, got his teeth brushed (fighting all the way) and went to bed.
Though he didn't utter many distinguishable words, between his signs and word approximations, I knew what he meant. I knew he needed to go potty. He signed "yes" when I asked if he wanted a stuffed animal in bed with him. He signed "dog" and said "wuf wuf" when our pup came bounding into his room. White dog, Henry signed. Yes, I thought and signed.
He gets it. Our dog is white with brown spots, and Henry's class has been studying the "Brown Bear" book all week, and so of course "white dog" is now part of his lexicon. He is learning so much. He can even write an H to start his name.
To me, this is normal, and also wonderful. For too long, kids with Down syndrome were considered not able, not capable to do many of the things I listed above.
Feeding himself. Toilet training. Throwing food. Snuggling with stuffed animals.
Sounds just right to me!