Parents of children with special needs must always believe in their child.
As a baby with Down syndrome, my son’s development has always been delayed. Normally it takes around two or three months for babies to develop stability of their neck, however in my son’s case it took almost six months. We had to do a few exercises (as per the therapist’s suggestion) with him, to help him raise his head. It was his first developmental milestone.
The second milestone was rolling over and the third one was sitting up. Although the therapist showed us how to teach him to sit up, one fine morning he actually figured out his own way of sitting up. However usually kids sit up when they are probably 6 months old, our son started to sit up at the age of 9 months.
The fourth milestone was when he started to stand up. We had to make him sit on a stool and then make him hold on to something to help him pull himself up. This was sort of an exercise we used to do with him. Once he started standing up, we were eagerly waiting for him to walk. Children usually start walking between 9 months and 1.5 year. However, son started walking when he was three years old. It was the greatest achievement of all and a big day for us! However, it is still a challenge for him to walk on uneven surfaces.
In terms of speech, his first word was ‘mumum’ which means ‘mama’. He started using words at the age of 3 or 4 years. Now at the age of eight he is using 2-3 words sentences to express himself. However, his vocabulary is not fully developed and he cannot express all his emotions and needs. Therefore very often he gets upset and at times very frustrated as we don’t understand him. But deep in our hearts we know that he will break this barrier one day.
At the age of eight my son still does not run. He cannot jump. He needs help while climbing stairs (i.e. by holding hands or a rail). He loves to ride trikes but he still is not able to paddle. He has many more other developmental challenges, mostly due to his low muscle tone and cognitive delays. But like any other parents, we are eagerly waiting to see our child’s progress.
We believe that one day he will make it happen, just like all his previous achievements. We are sure he will make us proud. As parents we just need to be a little patient and believe in our children with special needs.