We’d like to introduce you to Erin, a Playhouse Mom turned author!
Erin is a mother of 3. Reimare, who has Down syndrome, is 6 years old and his siblings are 5 and 2. She grew up in Wisconsin , graduated from UW-Madison and did her graduate work in IL, which is where Reimare was born. She said “We love GiGi’s in Madison and have always made a point of visiting whenever we are at my parents.”
Erin is the author of Laughter is my Language. She shared the incredible way this book came to be:
“Laughter is my Language started as a poem that just spilled out of me one day when Reimare was about 2.5 years old. He was not using any words at all at that point, and yet he was still so expressive and delightful because he laughed so much. By then, I had my second child and some of the communication differences between Reimare and his typically-developing sister were becoming apparent to me.”
“I wanted to turn the poem into a book, first of all, because kids with Down syndrome, kids with communication differences, etc., are not represented enough in children’s literature, and anything I can do to change that, is worth my time and effort. Secondly, as someone who was constantly reading aloud to my kids from day 1, I appreciate children’s books that speak to me as an adult, but are also appropriate for my kids.”
‘..step back and appreciate the jouney’
“This book serves as a reminder to us caregivers who get caught up in some of the traditional milestones that kids are supposed to meet, that we should step back and appreciate the journey. Little ones are not going to understand every word in the book, but language input is important regardless. Plus, the pages are filled with photographs of diverse and beautiful children, all of whom have speech and language challenges, and little ones can enjoy looking at those photos.”
Erin also has another project in the works. Sign-Along Stories, is designed as a tool to facilitate total language acquisition and sign language learning for both caregivers and children by incorporating signs into narrative children’s stories. Hopefully books will be available later this year. For those interested in keeping the availability of those books on their radar, the best way would be to like the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/signalongstories or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
You can purchase “Laughter is my Language” here.
Did you know all of our Playhouse programs incorporate language development in different forms into the lesson plans?
One example is Language Music N’ Our Peeps (LMNOP) which is geared toward ages birth to three and their parent or carefigve. This is an interactive and engaging program designed to guide parents and young children through learning basic sign language and other forms of communication while using music and language-based activities.
You can attend a live virtual LMNOP class on Monday’s at 10am, visit our calendar to RSVP! Madison Program Calendar