Jaden Is A Pro Walker

Well as you can see from the pictures below, Jaden is really becoming the Pro Walker now! Obviously we are extremely proud of this, considering we thought he would be walking a year ago! These were kind of unrealistic expectations considering children with Down Syndrome typically walk between 18 months and 5 years. Of course we never thought our kid would fall into any of these time restraints, especially because he took his first steps alone when he was 1! We thought he would be the first kid ever with Down Syndrome to walk at a year! And quite frankly, he probably would have been, however this is not what happened. When children have Low Muscle Tone, there's no telling when their bodies are going to allow them to do anything, and this is something that we've had to learn! Of course, he's known this all along, he was just waiting for us to figure it out too!

Well, at 2 yr's of age, he is finally, independently walking all over the place, and happily I might add! We've been stuck at the stage between Independent walking and walking around furniture, between furniture, holding hands, running with holding hands etc. for about 1 year now! It's SOOOOOOO exciting to see our little guy, whose wanted to be walking for a long time now, actually doing it! I remember when I started reading all the educational books on Down Syndrome after he was born, and all of the Time Frames they give you for Milestones that they will eventually achieve. I remember thinking, he'll never take Thaaaaat long to do this or that! Well, it's funny how your mind matures, isn't it? We still get stuck in all of these old ideals of when someone or how someone should be doing something, when really we need to worry about ourselves! Lesson's I'm learning now, that's for sure. By the way, the bib isn't for Drool, he had just finished eating!

Here's an interesting thing that happened to me the other day, and I would love to share it.

The other day at Jaden's (2yrs) PT apt. (we go 3 times a week for 1/2 hour), another mom was coming in as we were leaving. She had a super cute, huge baby and started talking to me as we were about to walk out the door. I could tell she wanted someone to talk to, so I stayed a little longer. She started telling me all about her son and why he was there, he had a Stroke 3 weeks after birth.

She said he was born with a Huge Hematoma, that he was 9 lbs at birth, (she, being tiny) then said that she knew she should have had a C-section. The dr's told here that it would take a few weeks for the big bump on her son's head to go down and not to worry. Well, she was so surprised when after only a few days, it had gone completely away considering how huge it had been. 3 weeks later he suffered a stroke, and is now partially paralyzed on the right side, with some other minor problems. He just started sitting, but isn't crawling or moving around yet. You would never know any of this from looking at him though. Very smiley and seemed happy. She then asked me what was "wrong" with Jaden, I told her his Diagnosis. She then asked me, like most other mom's, the next question which is "Did you know when you were pregnant?", "Did you have an amnio?" I said "no and no". I then said we would never have had an abortion anyway because all of the prenatal screening and ultrasounds showed a perfectly healthy developing baby. She then told me that between this son, and her older son, she had been pregnant and had an aborted that baby at 16 weeks because the Nuchal Fold Translucency Test told her that the baby would have learning disabilities. (HUM, I wondered to myself..What kind of test tells a mother that the child will have learning disabilities? I've never heard of that test) I only know about the tests that tell you a specific Risk Factor for This Diagnosis or That Diagnosis.

I was wondering what she was keeping a secret, but didn't ask what had they really told her?. She then told me her husband had wanted to keep the baby anyway, but she didn't want to have a child who was going to be made fun of, or be a burden to the family. She was extremely open with me about all of this, especially considering I didn't know her at all. Anyway, she then said she had no regrets, and commented that doesn't God work in Mysterious ways. Her next child was given to her, and then is the very embodiment of what she had feared the most! I then told her that her fears were all legitimate, and that every parent who has a child with any diagnosis usually goes through all the same sort of feelings. I told her this: that Jaden turned me from a One Dimensional Parent into a Three Dimensional Parent. Because I now know that Life is filled with Loving, Accepting, Thoughtful people who embrace people like Jaden. I told her that my fears of people staring at him or making fun of him have all gone away. I told her that it is quite the opposite, everywhere we go, people come up and want to kiss him, hug him, talk to him, tell us how blessed we are, how cute he is, how smart he is, and then tell their personal stories of someone they may know with Down syndrome and all the wonderful accomplishments this person has made. I said to her that Jaden to us, isn't Disabled in any way shape or form and to be honest, we don't consider ourselves parents of a Special Needs or Disabled Child. He is so "Typical and Normal" that we don't think about the label. Jaden, meanwhile was talking, and smiling to her the whole time. Blowing kisses to her and waving bye bye, because he was losing his patience with us talking. She then commented that he is SOOOOO Cute! It was an eye-opening conversation and one that shows us that there are so many mom's out there afraid of the unknown, when our fear of the unknown, is always worse than the reality!

The lessons we all need to learn are so numerous, however, Jaden continues to be one of the most Blessed Lessons of My Life! Feel free to pass this on to any other mother out there who may need to hear these words!


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