Down syndrome from a father's perspective.

Parents of kids with special needs need to remember to step back and enjoy the little things.

Whenever a newly married couple begins to talk about having kids I like to point out that kids don’t come with a return policy. They are not like something you buy and later when buyer’s remorse kicks in you can return. I am fairly sure that most people think I’m a little weird, I would if I were them, but I hope it is enough of a reminder that choosing to start a family is not all fun and games. Raising kids is a ton of work and, as you probably already know, anyone can be blessed with a child that has special needs. That’s when the workload multiplies!

Not just another post about sign-language

I have said it before but will say it again, “Sign language is a great choice for any child.” Yes, we chose to begin teaching Treyton signs because of his diagnosis but knowing what I know now I would have taught all of my kids to use signs. Babies are ready to communicate long before they are able to form words with their mouths. The fine motor skills required to shape the lips and tongue in order to create words develop after the larger motor skills needed for signs.

In his book Far From The Tree Andrew Solomon refers to sign-language as “speech set to dance.” Signs are fun. Watching Treyton communicate always makes me smile (except when we finally settle in to watch a movie and he looks up to me and give the signs for “chips” and “drink”). His signs are also somewhat fluid as well, they change and adapt as he grows and learns more about his world. He will also make up his own signs which really seem like a game of charades.

I needed to step back for a minute

This time of year is an extremely busy period for the Arnold house. You may call this spring but we call it “flower-season.” I am in the greenhouse business and we supply garden plants to garden centers throughout the Midwest. By nature this is a seasonal business. This can be a very challenging time of year for me as well as my wife.

In addition to the busy work schedule the rest of life has seemed to be a lot more intense lately not to mention that the entire Ethan Saylor tragedy has been weighing heavily on me. I needed to smile and feel good for a few minutes so I pulled out my phone and looked at a few of the videos of Treyton I had on there. He makes me smile and I think you will too.

Watch the short video below showing Treyton using a few signs. They are a little staged because I rarely have the camera ready when I see something I want to capture so I have to prompt Trey to repeat what he had just said. One of the fun aspects of this is that you really don’t know what he will say when you ask him to repeat himself. For example, he told me he wanted to eat french fries so when I got the camera out and asked him again his first answer was carrots. Carrots? Why was the kid thinking about carrots? I don’t know but look at the life in this kids eyes. I love him and I am thankful for each day I have with him.

 

Post-script

If you enjoyed this video clip check-out Treyton’s Posse on YouTube. I don’t have a regular schedule for posting videos but there are a lot of great clips of life with Treyton. Treyton’s Posse can also be found on these different social media channels. Check them out and “like us,” “follow us,” or whatever you want but let us know you are there.

Treyton's Posse is on YouTube.I love to watch Treyton just being himself. I always have my phone with me so I shoot short videos from time to time and this is where I share them. He is a great kid and I am sure will start to see how much fun he can be (he can be naughty as well). You can subscribe to this channel or just come and visit.
Treyton's Posse is on Instagram.When I snap a picture of Treyton the really shows who he is I post it on Instagram. You will also see a few images every now and then that give a glimpse into other aspects of Trey's life. Follow us on Instagram.
Treyton's Posse is on Flickr.Flickr is the giant box that I throw all of my pictures of Treyton into. I try to give them a little organization but it gets overwhelming for me. Take a look at some of the sets on Flickr.
Treyton's Posse is on Facebook.Facebook is like a catch-all. If you Like Us on Facebook you will be able to stay up-to-date with the latest images from Instagram, Tweets, as well as other things of interest in the world of Treyton as well as the greater Down syndrome community.
Treyton's Posse is on TwitterWhen you follow @TreytonsPosse on Twitter you will receive short updates on the life of Treyton as well as how Treyton's Posse is trying to be more active in the community.
Treyton's Posse is on Pinterest.Pinterest feels like a strange world to me. When you follow Treyton's Posse on Pinterest you will find links to products and learning tools you may find useful as well as interesting images and some things that are just about having fun.
Rob Arnold has been married to his high school sweetheart for almost 19 years. Together they have three daughters and one son. He earned his bachelor's degree in General Business from Grand Valley State University as well as an MBA in Strategic Management from Davenport University. He enjoys reading, hunting, scuba diving, and spending time with his family.