Sunday, October 03, 2010

31 for 21: Day 2

Some Common Terms, Acronyms, and Abbreviations associated with Down syndrome:

Trisomy 21 or T21: Another name for Down syndrome…Jack has three 21st chromosomes instead of the typical two. He has a total of 47 chromosomes instead of 46.

ASD/VSD/AV Canal Repair: Some of the different heart defects common on people with Down syndrome. 50% of people with Down syndrome have some type of heart defect. Some only require monitoring by a cardiologist, while others will need to have surgery to repair the defect. At 8 months old, Jack had Open Heart Surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to repair a complete AV Canal. He will most likely have to have another surgery in the future. Although the AV Canal was repaired, scar tissue called a subaortic membrane has formed and is blocking some of the blood flow. Every year at the cardiologist, I hold my breath for the words…”Time for surgery.” Luckily, we were just cleared for another year. J

ABA: Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy-This therapy is commonly misrepresented as a strategy used for kids with Autism. In reality, it is a great therapy for anyone who has behaviors that need to be tweaked in order to function appropriately in society. Jack has an amazing team working very hard to turn some of his inappropriate behaviors around. I will be devoting a couple of blog posts to ABA this month.

IEP: Individualized Education Plan-This is a legal document outlining Jack’s school placement and goals for the year. We meet at least once a year with the IEP team to determine the least restrictive environment for Jack’s individual needs. Next year, Jack will be transitioning to Kindergarten, and we want full inclusion. I am going to have to bring in a ton of research backing the benefits of full inclusion for kids with Down syndrome. If we do get this, it will be groundbreaking in our district.

PT/OT/ST/APE: Abbreviations for some of the many therapies Jack receives or has received to narrow the developmental gap. Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Adapted PE. We have spent countless hours with many different therapists…I don’t know what I would have done without these ladies. I cannot praise them enough…the difference it has made in his development is immeasurable. So thank you especially to Donna, Caroline, Lindsay, Diana and Amanda! You all have such a huge piece of my heart. J

Full Inclusion: If Jack were to be in a typical Kindergarten class next year instead of a Special Education class, he would be fully included.

SDC: Special Day Class-This is Special Ed. In my district, starting in Kindergarten, there is a mild to moderate class and a moderate to severe class. The range is Kinder-2nd in one class and 3rd grade-5th grade in another. When I say Mild/Moderate/Severe, I am talking about the developmental delays.

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