Things you don't know challenge #2: Elise doesn't know how to play.
I know, right? How is that possible? She has the mindset of a toddler, she should be DROWNING in play and creativity....
I have chatted with several moms to older kids with Down Syndrome and this has come up several times, and it is not isolated to Elise...either they never really figured it out, or it was something that actually had to be taught, unlike with typical kids.
I question if it is one of those "loose wires"? Like not necessarily hand-in-glove with DS, but perhaps a fragile connection that may or may not be made thanks to inherent connection delicacy?
On one hand, she has no conversation skills. So it would make some sense that her toys don't converse. Many boys never acquire that skill, so perhaps that shouldn't be an indicator? I don't know, I am torn, I suppose. But she never tells her babies they are in trouble, or their day's schedule, or has any kind of discussion with them or amongst them. They make no sound effects. The cows don't "moo", the horses don't "neigh", her cats don't "meow"... nothing. It is silent.
She loves to set up for play. She will set up her dolls for a tea parties. She will change everyone's clothes for an outing that will never happen. She will line up coliseums of animals for her viewing pleasure. She will set up family herds of plastic animals. She will seat plushies for movie voting clout. But it will abruptly halt at the point of preparation.
Elise is ALL about sorting. All the brown puppies in one group, all the elephants in another, the furry ponies in yet another.... She will spend quite a while doing this and then drag you in to witness the brilliance and crow with pride: "They MATCH!"
Rules may or may not apply. She is either the Gestapo about the rules or completely disregards them, with no real prediction for why and when. This applies to tag, board games, computer games, and spontaneous verbal car games.
Sometimes I wonder if her ability to make friends would improve (with or without verbal capability) if she could figure out how to play....as that seems to be the most common glue in childhood...
And we are missing it...