Dream Shard Blog: The Scintillating Adventures of Our Household

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Nov '08

Milestones and Goals

This week Wes had an IFSP checkup where his therapists review how he has progressed over the past year and set goals for the next six months. He is doing so fantastic and progressing so readily. His physical therapist (who works on gross motor skills like crawling and walking) just comes once a month, and each time she comes she’s blown away by what he’s picked up since she saw him last.

Right now Wes can climb the stairs in a flash, and when he gets to the top he turns himself around and sits up and clasps his hands in front of him and smiles down at you with a super big I-am-so-proud-of-myself-Look-what-I-can-do grin. We have to help him turn around and slide down the stairs. He’s getting better at letting us help him slide down (he does a lot of it himself, but we still have to help him initiate the movement), and it will take longer for him to get the turning around part at the top of the stairs. But he’ll get it.

He’s mastered the art of throwing toys. It’s like a game; he throws, and then fetches. He can also roll a ball or toy to you, and he loves to play peekaboo. He loves it if he’s holding onto something like a blanket and you try to tug it away from him. It makes him smile really big and even giggle. While he’s really great at playing independently most all the time, when he’s tired he can use a good snuggle.

Some goals that the therapists set for the next six months:

– weaning off the bottle and drinking more from a cup. Wes likes to put cups to this mouth, but not for the purpose of drinking. I’ve tried sippy cups but he doesn’t get how to suck out the liquid. A therapist pointed out that I can remove the plastic filter in the sippy cup so it’s easier to drink from (but also not spill-proof anymore). I’ll try that.

– walking! Wes will be an early walker. This is funny to say because I remember how my brother and his wife were broken up that their son didn’t walk until he was 13 months old, and they felt like he was lagging behind in everything. So I guess I should clarify that Wes will be early in the world of Down syndrome, where the average age for walking is about two years. Wes is pulling himself to standing and likes to walk with help, but it will be a bit longer until he can do it on his own. BUT I really can see him walking in the next several months. He continues to amaze us all.

– better pincher grip. Wes just recently (in the last week or two) refined his pincher grip enough to where I can set cereal or pieces of food on his booster seat and he can pick them up and put them in his mouth. This was super exciting to me! Before, he could hold larger things like graham crackers, but now he can maneuver smaller things into his mouth. So he’s got the basic pincher grip, but the therapist will help him refine it even more.

I remember when Wes was little someone (another parent of a child with DS) telling me that the nice thing about having a child with Down syndrome is that you get to have a baby a little longer. At the time I couldn’t see how that could be a positive thing (maybe it was because I was sleep deprived at that start?). But now I can see what she means. Wes is fourteen months old and, while wildly accomplished as far as I’m concerned, is still a lot of a baby. And I love it. I see my friends’ kids, who are younger than Wes, and some of them seem so old and grown up. I’m glad Wes is what he is.

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