A period of “little or no apparent progress in an individual’s learning”.
We knew they were coming. We’ve seen them before. We were fairly warned.
The warning doesn’t make it any easier though. It doesn’t make it any less frustrating. It doesn’t help in keeping perspective of the bigger picture.
I have been reading a few blogs lately of wonderful, beautiful children who happen to have Down syndrome. It seems as though the recent theme among many of these has been growth: developmental gains, milestones met, challenges accomplished, communication increased. I am so incredibly happy for these children and for their families. I know that I have been there. And I know that I will be there again.
Today, however, it feels as though we are at a standstill. As though I am banging my head against a brick wall. And the part that hurts the most, the piece that is the most raw, is that my precious boy Jake is frustrated because of it. I notice his desire to communicate his wants and needs…but then I see his stalled language skills. I watch him frantically sign one thing after another, in an attempt to communicate his desires…but then we both get frustrated as I do not always catch his intended meaning. I stand by and watch as his little brother picks up on things with such ease, is a better imitator, and can already say more words than Jake. And I am sad.
Here’s the thing about plateaus: they are beautiful to look at, and they serve a very useful purpose. You climb and climb, and then just when you are utterly exhausted, out of breath, and think you can’t climb anymore, you hit a plateau. A flat land. An even terrain. A place to catch your breath, relax, and enjoy the view before continuing on. I think that’s a better perspective. And so, we wait…