Zap2it: Did you bond with your military operative partner?
Todd Palin: My guy was [former Marine] J.W. Cortes. Our common ground is he has a son with autism, and I've got a son with Down syndrome. Just being a father, you have a bond. With the additional challenge, there's that extra bond. I'm a little older than he is, and I'm like, "We are blessed. There's a reason why God put this child in our hands, in our family."
Zap2it: How is your son, 4-year-old Trig, doing?
Todd Palin: He's doing good. When we were filming, he said his first words. He told his older brother to quit picking on him, or something like that. And when J.W. went back to New York on one of the dark days, he said his name, so that was pretty exciting.
Zap2it: Did you get hurt?
Todd Palin: Our minds think we're 20, but our bodies remind us that we're not.
Now some of you have asked WHO this older brother is since Track is supposedly overseas in Afghanistan right now. My assumption is that Todd is indeed talking about Track, who might be on leave, though with this family you can never be sure of anything.
If that is NOT the case then Todd has really stepped in it, and I am sure he will be dodging canned goods in the very near future. Of course since he no longer moves like a 20 year old, he better hope that the Grizzled Mama's aim is off.
I am actually a little MORE concerned that Trig has only JUST said his first words at four years old. Children with Down syndrome are often quite delayed in developing the ability to speak, but usually that spans a time between 1 1/2 to three years. I don't believe that it is usual for the first words to come as late as four years old.
I do know for a fact that Trig has a significant hearing loss (As I first determined during an interview with Palin in early 2009), and that might contribute to his rather dramatic delay in speaking, but it could also be an indication that he has NOT received the kind of therapy and special education instruction which could help him to overcome some of his limitations. Which, considering the wealth enjoyed by his family, would be a case of unconscionable negligence.
I am not willing to say with any certainty which is to blame, or even if it might not be a combination of the two, but I will say that these days the boy seems to have outgrown his usefulness, and I really do worry that he is not receiving the kind of care that he so desperately needs.