Ella has always had a keen desire to learn. I feel massively responsible to nurture this wonderful trait and provide lots of opportunity for her to learn new things, introduce her to new experiences and (probably most importantly) allow her to use the skills and understanding she has already.   

My lovely friend and primary school teacher Suzanne recently helped me to create a ‘weather station’ for the girls.  I wanted to help Ella learn about different weather -she knows most of the signs, understands hot/cold and knows when it’s raining/sunny etc so I wanted to put her knowledge to good use by creating something with pictures and a process for her to follow.  I knew a pictorial way of displaying this would enhance her understanding (Children with Down’s Syndrome are visual learners) and allow her to choose and display the appropriate picture to match the weather she sees outside.
We included all the common weather elements and Ella is still enjoying ‘doing the weather’ a few weeks later.  

She is getting the idea of the exercise now but I still have to prompt her and simplify the process slightly. I’ve found that giving her a choice of two or three pictures to choose from rather than all of them helps her and generally she can pick the appropriate picture to match the weather outside.

However, most days after we’ve picked and displayed the correct weather picture, some time later I notice that mysteriously the ‘rainbow’ picture will have been stuck in its place instead… 

Maybe it’s just her favourite picture but I like to think that maybe, to Ella, everyday is a rainbow day. 

Seems a good way to view the world to me xx


Amy Dunn

Our first baby, Ella Mary, was born at the end of November 2010. We were shocked to find out soon after her birth that she has Down's Syndrome. I was determined from the start that Down's Syndrome will never define Ella or what she is able to do. We will provide for her everything she needs to become the child and the person she deserves to be. There will be hard times ahead.... there are already many hard times behind us. But I already know that the good times will always outweigh the hard times. She has taught me so much in such a short time and seeing life from a new perspective is a privilege that not many of us get the chance to experience.

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