Friday, October 3, 2008

Developmental Milestones

This is a toughie for alot of people, including me. When our children are born we immediately begin taking care of them and thinking about the days to come. After spending so many hours keeping them safe, fed, dry, warm, content it's natural to begin wondering what is next. Heck, we begin hoping things for them before they are even born; will she be tall and slim? will he be great at math? will she learn to talk early? will they be truly happy?

As days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months, our expectations for them come from all sides. As early as 1 month old, we are looking to see if they've met the few developmental milestones for that age. People constantly ask what they are doing. If we've subscribed, we get a weekly newsletter from babycenter.com, telling us what our baby may be doing this week.

It turns alot of us into milestone maniacs. We want our kids to do things ahead of the curve or at least right on time. If not, there is a sense of letdown - after all, we want our kids to be the best they can be.
When your child has Down Syndrome or any other of the many possible syndromes & conditions that affect development, those milestones take on even more meaning and angst.

I don't think that Lauren will walk by 18 months (the very edge of "normal" development) maybe not until 24 months or later. And yes, that kind of bothers me. Some of my kids have met milestones very early and that is pretty exciting. I guess there is a false sense of pride when our kids do this -- because even though I take my job as mother very seriously and have always provided the proper stimulation for their development, they are still going to do things when they are ready to do them. But still, one of my kids began reading books at 3 at that was very cool and very exciting.

What i'm getting at, in a very round-a-bout way is that my expectations for Lauren are still very high - but they are different than what I have for my other children and what you may have for your 'typically developing' child. I have had to readjust my expectations a bit based on what is typical of kids with DS. The great thing is that she will most likely learn to do everything that is necessary to succeed in life.

Besides, she's always been off the charts in sweetness.

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