When I got pregnant with my daughter Anisia the book ‘What to expect when expecting’ was spot on for most of my pregnancy and very helpful.

It had a lot of information that prepared me for having my child.

It did not however prepare me for my placenta tearing at 29 weeks and having a 2-pound baby.

In the sequels ‘what to expect the first year’ and ‘what to expect the toddler years’ 

There was no chapter on the NICU stay or brain damage. 

No information on an apnea monitor, oxygen tanks, MRIs, and therapy. 

There was no guide to dealing with the guilt I felt being unable to help prevent the pain my daughter would face. 

Even the milestone list they provided was nothing like the one my daughter would be forced to attempt. 

While theirs went more like: 

• hold up head 

• roll over 

• sit 

• crawl 

• stand 

• walk 

My daughters would include milestones (and sometimes inchstones) that most people do not even realize were something to celebrate. 

Hers would look more like this (in no particular order): 

• learn to breathe on your own 

• figure out the suck swallow breathe pattern 

• smile on purpose 

• hold up your head for short periods of time 

• learn to open your right hand 

• Move left and right arm on purpose 

• make noise 

• laugh 

• hold an object for a few seconds 

• bring an object to your mouth 

And I am sure your child's milestone list looks different from ours as well. 

Now my son learned how to do all of the milestones on both lists in about one year. 

My daughter is almost two years old and we are still working on most of these milestones in the second category. 

for kids with special needs

We seem to add more tasks than we accomplish as the months roll on by making it seem impossible. 

I have found with each task accomplished we find new ways to play together and that makes it a lot easier to handle. 

I have also learned that my daughter has her own list of things she wants to do and it looks like this: 

• feed myself 

• play with big brother 

She has figured out a way to make self feeding a little easier by getting the food into an indent on her tray that is for a cup. 

It is so adorable to watch her focus on getting her arms to move so she can push the food around. 

It doesn't always make it into the cup and taking it out isn't a cakewalk but it makes it a little easier for her to not have to chase down the food as her arm twitches and moves the piece farther away. 

Anisia and her brother Tyson have figured out a way that they can high five and she will laugh for a good minute when they do. 

It is more like a low one but it’s one of the only ways they can interact with each other and the closest to playing they have. 

She still has a long way to go before she is running around with him and she may never actually run but every milestone we hit ,even the smallest ones, just unlock more fun we can have as a family and a lot more laughter in our house.

More like this please...

Things you might like

Other articles you might enjoy...

Survey icon

Public Opinion…

Does your child take ADHD medication?