I always said that the reason I taught children with special needs was because every milestone they hit was so much greater and more significant than with typically-developing children. Every accomplishment was a reason to celebrate. I don’t think I fully actualized (that’s a word, right?) this concept until I became a mother.
As I’ve explained before, pretty much over night, around a year ago, Lydia started stuttering. We took it as a sign of her rapid language acquisition, but when it seemed to continue (and get worse at times) 6 months later, we knew it had to be more than that. We had her evaluated, and she began speech therapy mid-December 2012. Fast-forward 2.5 months later (and calculate in a Winter Break for 2 weeks) – and her speech is so much more fluent. Everyone notices. My family, our friends, other children’s parents. It’s pretty amazing. And I guess if she had developed typically, she would’ve always spoken this smoothly — but she didn’t. And for that reason, the fact that her speech is now so fluent, makes it even more special and amazing. I think it’s also improved her self-esteem, which is great to see. She’s more inclined to greet others now, make jokes, tell stories spontaneously in a group, etc. Amazing to see the change!
As I whined a bit about last week, Bryce had his developmental evaluation last week, and it was determined that he would benefit from 30 minutes a week of physical therapy. One of the problems we’ve had since he was born is that anytime he does anything, it has to be ‘his idea’. For example, when other parents can pick their kids up and get them to stand in place, Bryce lifts his legs up. When other parents can spoon-feed their young ones, Bryce had to finger-feed himself without assistance. In terms of gross motor development, he met all his milestones on time (prior to walking):
- Rolled over (in both directions) at 6 weeks
- Head control by 3 months
- Sat independently by 6 months
- Pulled to stand and began cruising at 9 months
I pretty much had him on track for walking around a year… but that didn’t happen. Lydia started walking the day she turned 14 months, but that date passed by… so did 15 months and 16 months, and by 17 months I realized we needed some sort of assistance or at least a decent evaluation. As I wrote above, the challenge was that he’d never let us help him. He wouldn’t stand in place with our hands, take steps with our hands, dance in place with our hands or anything like that. Since getting him screened, I’ve been trying to work more to improve this.
WELL…This morning, he held my hands while standing for about 2 minutes, danced with me, and then took about 5 or 6 steps holding my hands…TWICE!! If Bryce was the type of child who did this at 12 months, while it would’ve been kinda cool, it wouldn’t have been a cause for celebration. This was worth celebrating! I’m hoping to do this several more times throughout the day so that I can show my husband when he gets home. I was having a somewhat rough week thus far (mostly financially), but this reminded me of how much in life we can’t put a number to. It was simply beautiful!
Love these two knuckleheads!