31 for 21: Day 7

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Next question is from Erika: does Vince separate the different languages?

Like stated before we speak English, German and Swedish at home. We speak English as a common language, simply because we met in the US, and always spoke English to each other. Naturally I speak Swedish to Vince and Edgar and Bookie speaks German to them. It was always very clear to us that we wanted to bring Vincent up the same way as any possible future brothers or sisters. So the languages stayed.

We now have learned from many professionals and even more important, from other bi-and tri-lingual families with children with DS that the languages does not pose a problem. Rather it stimulates and works just fine. I also fully believe that it is not the languages that hinders Vincent’s ability to speak, because if so was the case, he would not understand what we tell him. But he does.

Vince definitely knows the difference in languages. At day care there are only German words. With us, he mixes a bit, but he also knows that we understand the differences. When we were in Sweden this summer we noticed that he definitely understands all that is said to him in Swedish. Same thing with German. We also have a lot of movies in English and he gets all the words there too.
I still find myself amazed/surprised when I ask him something and he does it. Sounds like a small thing to many, but to me, it is just so cool! He does not talk much but he sure communicates. Like last week we were driving somewhere and Edgar was crying. I asked Vince to find Edgar’s pacifier and give it to Edgar. Vince immediately did. Way cool!
Many times when Vince does not understand what someone says it is because often people talk too many words at one time. It is easy for us to try to keep it in 3-5 word sentences when asking/telling him something. Others are of course not use to this, and it is easy to talk 10-12 words at one time, and when spoken fast or without a pause, it simply becomes too long of a riddle for Vince. Usually if I restate the question and break it down in parts he gets it.

So, to sum it up. He keeps the languages separate and understands all three of them.

3 Responses

  1. Wow, that’s great! I have heard of many children with Ds who are bilingual. When Samantha was born we were looking for a caregiver and were concerned with the number of them who did not speak English as a first language, thinking it would confuse her as she developed language. But now I know better. She’s now learning Spanish from Dora and Chinese from Kai-lan. LOL

  2. Hi – I’m not sure where to email you but I have a question for you. Have you thought about when/how to talk to Vince and Edgar about Ds? My son is six months younger than Vince (I love to see the similarities between them!) and I’m really unsure about how we’ll broach the topic with Pacey and his sister, or how we will know when it’s time. Just curious if you’ve thought about it. Thanks!

  3. Det är ju hur häftigt som helst. Verkligen imponerande!!
    Bra för Vince också om han blir en globetrotter som sina föräldrar 😉

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