The Hailey Herald

The Hailey Herald

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Can It Ever Be This Simple?

I had an interesting conversation this week with a neighbor (we'll call her Betty).  She asked how Hailey was doing.  My basic response is "good".  I told her that Hailey has strengths and weaknesses.  Some things she is on track and others she is not.  She seems to be picking up sign language and has several words that she says regularly.  She eats like a champ and we have renamed her "hurricane" because she leaves a path of destruction where ever she goes ;-)  I did tell Betty that gross motor is our biggest delay right now because most children are walking by the age of 18 months.  Hailey is cruising around the house with walking toys and sometimes our hands, but is very reluctant to give it a try without either.

Betty asked if we thought Hailey wouldn't walk.  Obviously, I responded that there was nothing that gave us that indication and we take everything else as it comes.  She then asked, "So long-term, what are you focusing on and what are your concerns?"  I told her that we focus on Hailey's intellectual delays and work on Hailey becoming a compassionate, happy, loving young woman.  I want her to have her own set of dreams and then follow them.  (I can't project my dreams onto her...I can just help her be the best person that Hailey can be). 

The response that followed was very simple..."oh...that's it".  Betty said she held her typical daughter back in school a year and her daughter still struggles academically.  She commented that no one can predict the future for her typical children.

When a friend of mine first explained Down syndrome to her daughter, her daughter had simple questions...will Hailey be able to ride a bike and will she be able to play with the other kids in the neighborhood?  Once the little girl received her answer of "yes", her worry seemed eased and she was content.

All this rambling actually does mean something...I wonder how differently the world would view people with Down syndrome if they saw it as simply as these two people did.  No, not all the health conditions and concerns that go along with Down syndrome are always simple, but none of us can predict the future for ourselves...for our typical children.  We don't put limitations on them.  We don't look at them and condemn them to a life of dependency and meaningless jobs.  Why do we do that to people with DS and intellectual disabilities?  How different would the world be for them, if everyone viewed it as simply as these two individuals did?

Here are a couple pics for those of you that enjoy Hailey's odd sleeping positions and odd nap places:



Hailey's newest entertainment...making faces, waving and laughing at her reflection in the mirror.



Taking her baby for a stroll

Waving bye to her brothers
Can you tell that she thinks she is cute?

9 comments:

  1. Ben's PT at the Cleveland Clinic says most kids with Ds don't walk until 24 months, at the earliest, so I don't think she's gross motor delayed at all:)

    I think it takes loving someone with Ds to understand how "normal" they really are. A criticism of our blogs, I've read from moms who decide to end their pregnancies, is that we only show the happy side of life. They don't realize is that Ds doesn't make our lives less happy or less normal. In my case, it is just part of life, and I actually like it!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it is crazy to know we get criticized for showing the happy side of life. I agree, day-to-day we aren't less happy or less normal. She is an 18 month old who gets into everything and makes us all laugh :-)

      Delete
    2. I know! Ben really isn't much different than Colin at 19 months except that he can't walk. They both are into everything!

      Delete
  2. I loved the little girls response...Simple and sweet, I do wish that is the way everyone saw our kids.

    And Hailey is doing very well Gross motor wise. I think Russell had only just learned to pull to stand at 18 months, never mind cruising or pushing a toy! He started walking at 24 months. Hailey is right on track :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jenny! There are days I think she will never walk :-)

      Delete
  3. She is doing well gross motor wise. I am happy to report that Cora is now willing to bear weight on her legs. But she can't even pull to stand or stand holding onto anything at all. Hailey is doing well all around. This is a great post. And I so love the pictures of her playing with her reflection.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay, Cora!!! That is where it starts!

      Delete
  4. Great post! And I love the reflection photos!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh my goodness I loved this!! Haley reminds me so much of Beth when she was that age. Beth slept EXACTLY like that! And I uesed to tell people that Beth's best friend was the baby... in the mirror! Great post!

    ReplyDelete