Monday, January 14, 2008


I had a chat with a friend of mine, via Facebook, about milestones and development, which she said I could share with you. I thought it might be interesting to other new parent's out there - I guess this is something that everyone goes through.

(In the meantime, Alfie has learned to play the piano and we are considering entering him for classical music competitions)

Hello! Long time no see! Happy New Year as well!
I have a question for you about milestones Alfie hit. I'm getting depressed, I know I shouldn't be, about where Eric is in terms of development. I'm on message boards for parents with children with DS and all of there little ones the same age as Eric or younger are all sitting unsupported and getting up on their hands and knees. These kids have DS!! I was okay with him being behind "typical" kids, but now it seems like he's behind his peers as well.
Eric is not sitting (no where near) and starting to get on his knees but not the hands at the same time. I am so depressed. I went to Ian's babybook to see when he sat unsupported as I knew he was late doing this too and he was 7 1/2 months when he did. That's how old Eric is right now and he is not showing any progress at ALL in this area. Blah.
Okay, sorry for the rant but no one else understands. My sister-in-law who has been the best about all of this says not to compare and so not be sad but it is impossible! I knew he was delayed but he seems to be getting more behind everyday. Blah.
Ok, I have to stop or I get you down!!
Hope things are well!

Oh I know how you feel!
But the only way I've found to manage this is to completely ignore milestones. I think Alfie was about 9 months when he first started to sit - it was when he was in hospital so he was between 8 and 10 months - but I really don't keep track of things like that. One reason is that Alfie had very low tone and a very big head and very poor muscle tone in his tummy. The other reason is that it makes me feel wretched.
Eric might also have lower tone than you thought - especially in his stomach. This is no indication of his overall intelligence, or how able he'll be able to manage when he's older. In fact, some of the adults I've met have been very strong physically but not so able verbally, so being able to sit really isn't a good indication of anything.
I have days when I'm so frustrated that Alfie isn't doing anything - responding like I think he should, that he's still chucking his plate on the floor, etc etc, and then a couple of days later he'll completely surprise me by crawling right up the stairs!
It might be that Eric is having a little plateau while he thinks about things and develops another area that isn't sitting. Just keep going and know that he will get there in his own sweet time. And he will get there. And you will be SO PROUD!
Also, I'm concentrating on getting Alfie to do things right, not quickly. He does learn if he is shown something enough times, and I'm so proud that he's crawling - even if it's about 6, 7, 8, months late - because it means that he's strengthening his arms and that will help him in the future.
Keep going with the physio, concentrate on getting Eric to do things right, in his own sweet time, and feel proud of your little boy for just being the cutest little boy in the world.
I feel sorry for all those parents whose baby's are walking by 12 months (like Noah was) - it feels too fast!- enjoy the lovely slow pace that our little ones take and give him a lovely big hug from me.
Alice x x x

Oh Alice, when I woke up this morning and read what you wrote to me I almost cried as you cheered me right up! Some days I have good days, others not so great. I was getting so frustrated. You are so right about teaching him how to do things right, not just fast.
On a happy note - Eric must of sensed I was frustrated and when I calmed down this morning after reading your letter, I went to work on Physio with him. He sat!!! For like two minutes unsupported!! Without falling! He's still pretty hunched over and supporting himself with his arms, but he's finally getting it!!! I am so happy - I posted some pictures. I am so proud of him I cried. By 9 months he should be fully able to sit unsupported the correct way if he keeps this up!! Yeah!
Felecia :)

1 comment:

KathyR said...

Hi Felecia-
well, i wrote a long response to you, but lost it because i didn't know how to post it properly;-/
To sum it up-
My son, Danny, didn't sit unsupported until his 1st birthday. He had a lot of problems with low tone, and his physical development was pretty slow. I used to get pretty depressed,especially after his therapists would give me their reports and i would see in print how far behind he was. My husband told me, "look at him...look how happy he is...he isn't frustrated by his just enjoy him...he'll get there..."
And he did..he is now 9 yrs old, does karate, swims (with a bubble) is learning how to jump rope...he just does things at his own pace, and once i relaxed about it, i have been able to enjoy his pace.
I haven't kept up with his webpage for a few years, but I do have some
"then and now" pictures of him there (the 'now' being 5 yrs out of date;-) but you can see that he was a very fragile looking baby...but you sure couldn't tell that by looking at him now.