The juxtaposition of slow and fast can be disorienting.
Our kiddos with Down syndrome tend to “grow up” at a slower pace. Take Jake for example. He is closer to being on par with Cole right now (who is 14 months younger than him) than he is to being on par with his peers. Everything takes longer. You get used to moving at a slower pace, used to taking longer to meet milestones, used to occasionally feeling as though progress is grinding to a halt.
Despite this supposed “slower pace” however, we started activities, therapies, and goal-setting with Jake at break-neck speed. Our first meeting with the Child Development Team here in Calgary was when Jake was 7 weeks old. We have been in various therapies since the age of five months. We track progress, we set goals with measurable outcomes, we are quick to jump on the wagon and dive into the fast pace of it all.
It is a strange juxtaposition.
We are currently in the midst of a six-month contract with a Developmental Aide. This lovely young lady comes into our home for six hours a week, and works with Jake on the goals and outcomes that we have set for him. These include increasing his attention span, working on his fine motor skills, especially in regards to eating, and further developing his communication skills through activity and play.
She. Is. Awesome.
It is hard for me, as a mom, to say with any sort of confidence that Jake has progressed since starting with her, simply because I am around him day-in and day-out, and I don’t always notice. As I sit back and take note of the bigger picture, however, I definitely see progress, I definitely see improvement.
Even if it is at a slower pace.