Belle is starting to imitate words more which I am excited about. To date, she has approximately 18 words and 18 signs. She is very animated and quite dramatic at times 🙂 Annabelle continues to eat well and is doing great with her new Straw #4. She has improved tremendously with her “chomping” exercises in the past few months. I can tell that her jaw has gotten a lot stronger. When it comes to our horn exercises, however, it’s a power struggle of who gets to hold the horn. Her pouty face typically wins or at least initiates a compromise. She has no problem making a noise with it, but we have a long way to go until we can track 25 breaths through it in a row. Overall, I think Belle is making great progress. I am really proud of that joyful little gal!

Above is Annabelle doing her “chomping” exercises right before bed. I know that her sitting on my bed isn’t the ideal place to practice these but it is a part of her bedtime routine and she is really used to it. It’s also our little time to hang out together and giggle a little bit too. Her jaw strength has really improved over the past few months. Prior to this time, it was a struggle for her to “chomp” even one or two times, and as you can see in the video, she has come a long way.

This video is of the very first day Belle tried to blow bubbles. She did great! This is one of her favorite activities (and one of her brother’s too as you will hear in the background). I am amazed by all the things that she can do. She is capable of so much at 19 months!

-Lanie Beetsma

Annabelle has Down Syndrome and has been using TalkTools Therapy since she was born. Her story is a great inspiration for parents seeking help for a child with Down Syndrome. Follow Miss Annabelle’s journey from the beginning here.

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