I have decided to reflect on the “state” of Maddi as we approach her 5th birthday coming up in a couple of months. In many ways Maddi is just like any other 4year old child with a sibling. She argues and pushes her little sister at times and hugs and dances with her at others. She attends a “preschool” during the day where she has speech, occupational, and physical therapies due to her having Down Syndrome.
In order to be a better parent for Maddi I have researched some of the different developmental milestones and when she will reach them. Unlike “typical” children, children with DS can be all over the place as to when they reach developmental milestones. Maddi did not start walking independently until she was about 3 ½ years old. When she took those first steps on her own, it was an amazing feeling. Some kids with DS walk sooner. The same is true for speech and behavior. Maddi still cannot talk even after having hearing aids have been put to use. Her issue with talking is a physical one, because of her hearing loss. So yea, I know that all children are different and they will do things when they are ready, but I cannot help but to feel frustration and sadness for her. We went to a preschool “graduation” and cookout for the preschool that Maddi’s sister Bailey attends. After the ceremony and the kids had eaten, there was a group of children playing and running. The age of the kids was mixed, some were younger, some her age, and a few a little older. I watched as the kids all ran around and Maddi just stood there trying to grab the kids as they ran by. She seemed happy and was laughing but I couldn’t help but think that she just doesn’t fit in. She looks like a child her age but mentally she just isn’t there. I thought to myself, “will she ever fit in, will she always be on the outside of groups?” I want her to be able to interact appropriately and play and have fun with her peers, it saddens me that she just can’t. UGH!!!