06 Sep

It seems we have hit one.  A plateau that is.

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…



Posted by on September 6, 2013 in Uncategorized


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5 responses to “Plateau…

  1. mshinch

    September 6, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    I pray you do not feel stranded on your plateau and know that you are not alone! 🙂 lots of love!

  2. anna

    September 6, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Speech is such a huge thing and it’s so hard to see our kids struggle when they want to speak put can’t. You are not alone. xoxoxoxox I feel sad that Stella can’t talk and tell me what she wants/needs. There is a lot of screaming, grunting, squawking in our house lately. But things will change, they always do, and like you said plateaus’s are a great way for rest, and perfecting the skills that Jake has already learned.

  3. Jenny

    September 7, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Beautifully written!! We have been there on that plateau many times with Russell, I almost know when to expect it now. Your last paragraph summed things up perfectly…I am going to remember it the next time a plateau rolls around for us 🙂

  4. Laura Janson

    September 8, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Beautiful words, Karyn! Plateaus are so tough yet the breakthroughs are amazing!

  5. Kathy L

    September 16, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    Again Karyn, the way you have laid your heart out for others to see is so honest…. praying that this plateau leads to more growth when Jake is ready for the next climb.


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