When your baby reaches certain ages (2 months, 6 months, 9 months, etc.) you are given informational handouts from your Pediatrician at your Well Child visits.
These handouts can be a great point of reference for typically developing children.
For parents of children with special needs, these handouts can feel like a slap in the face.
According to the cheerful, brightly-colored document, she “should” have been doing things including: crawling, taking steps while holding onto furniture, picking up small objects with her finger and thumb, understanding her name, and waving “bye-bye.”
It may have well said that she should be scaling the peaks of Mount Everest.
That’s how unrealistic and unreasonable these milestones felt to me at that time.
Not to mention that her height and weight were below the 1st percentile for her age, as they likely always will be.
I dreaded those routine doctor’s appointments in the early days of our journey.
I shuddered at having to read the printed words on those handouts.
Those unnecessary reminders that we were off-course from the laid-out plan.
Although our Pediatrician is wonderful and has always celebrated our child’s accomplishments along with us, those handouts never failed to deliver a hard punch to the gut.
Crawling would come, at two years old.
At four, she is a trooper, working hard every day on pulling up and training her muscles to take assisted steps.
She picks up small objects using her whole hand, instead of using her finger and thumb.
That’s ok by me.
She definitely understands her own name now and I am proud to say that just this year, I have seen her wave “bye-bye” on a couple occasions.
As time has passed, I have adjusted to our own version of normal.
She is developing at her own pace and each stride that she makes fills me with pride.
She has to put in a substantial amount of work to accomplish things that come easily and naturally to most.
So when she does hit those coveted milestones, they are exceptionally sweet and they give us reason to truly CELEBRATE.
I have learned that life isn’t a race…it isn’t about which child makes it to the proverbial finish line first.
Development comes differently for each unique, individual child.
Growth and development come slowly for my daughter.
As long as she’s growing and following her own curve, then I am contented.
She is amazing and her perseverance makes me far more appreciative of all the REMARKABLE feats she has accomplished!
Does your local park include accessible play equipment?