For this week's post I wanted to talk about Michael's bilinguality-- yes, Michael understands two languages! Since my parents are from Poland, we only speak Polish at home. Therefore, Michael can understand a lot of things in both English and Polish.
Like I've mentioned in earlier posts, Michael has an incredible sense of understanding-- although he may not understand what you're telling him word for word, he can feel the emotions behind the words, and recognize if things are being said out of love, anger, happiness, etc. He may not be able to understand each individual word in both languages, but he can easily sense the emotions coming from them.
In both English and Polish, he understands phrases like "drink water," "go to the bathroom," or "put this away." If we ask him if he's happy or sad in either language, he'll still give similar responses from each language.
He caught on to understanding both languages, since we would repeat phrases twice, once in English, and again in Polish. That way, he grew his understanding of each language.
Considering that not every person without an intellectual or developmental disability can speak or understand two languages, it shows that persons with Down Syndrome (or any other intellectual disability) are capable of the same things any other person can do.
And Michael's not alone! I remember a couple of other students in his classroom in high school also understood a couple of languages. Does your child with IDD also know another language? Let us know in the comments!
Now I couldn't say which language Michael understands better, but either way, he has no problems between switching languages. If you have any comments/questions, feel free to submit a comment or submit a contact form :)