Sunday, October 6, 2013

Day 6 of Down Syndrome Awareness Month!

It's Sunday night and I need some time to mentally decompress so this will be short.

I'm still adjusting to the fact that Tera is a big girl now.  She's working on potty training, she walks down the stairs by herself, she feeds herself, and now she is in a bed instead of a crib.

I won't say it bothers me, I'm just saying I'm adjusting to it.  I feel like so many of the typical toddler milestones or challenges that parents face have been a surprise to us.  We didn't try and start potty training; she was doing it at school and just signed that she was ready at home.  She didn't start trying to climb out of her crib, she just did it and forced our hand at having to transition her.

I suppose in some ways it's easier this way.  We don't have a long drawn out process to go through to get her do the things that toddlers do.  But it's also taking us a little off guard at every turn.  I told my mom today when she called to ask how her first night in a big girl bed went, this kid has been nothing but surprises from the minute she was born.  In good and bad ways.

In the grand scheme of things, she's surpassing expectations.  Maybe not our expectations because I usually expect Tera to do more than  what's typical for kids with DS.  But that's also part of the problem; people expect that kids with DS will do everything slower and maybe not as well as typical kids. But you know what? They can do anything they want.  They will amaze you in ways you never thought possible.  They will challenge your expectations.  They will challenge your beliefs.  They will challenge you in general.  They will defy the norm and then keep going.  They are amazing people that oftentimes are not given the credit they deserve.

I'm here to tell you, DO NOT underestimate them.  Challenge them, believe in them, love them, respect them, and honor them because they deserve every bit of it.  

Down Syndrome Fact:
All people with Down syndrome experience cognitive delays, but the effect is usually mild to moderate and is not indicative of the many strengths and talents that each individual possesses. 

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