Isabelle is almost 20 months (on the 23rd) and now there are days that pass before Down Syndrome even crosses my mind. When she was born, it was all I thought about. Now... I just see my little girl- Isabelle. Until... evaluation time.
We had her PT evaluation this past week. This is a requirement by the State for her to be enrolled in the Early Steps program. One of the requirements is to show the age range at which she is functioning at this time. These are done every six months and every six months, I go into a major funk for a few days. There is something about seeing these completed evaluations on paper- it sucks the wind out of my sail. I will give myself major pep talks over the next few days which involve focusing on Isabelle's strengths and her personality so I know I will be ok because she will be ok.
I choose to spend my time focusing on Isabelle's strengths and the day to day happenings. If I look too far into the future or compare Isabelle to her peers, that is when fear and sadness can happen. These evaluations definitely don't sugar coat anything and it isn't easy seeing where my baby measures up to other typical children. I know she is behind. If I choose to be- I could be reminded of this on a daily basis. I see it when I pick her up from daycare, when she is around her cousins, kids at church or in the store. I could see the differences everywhere I look. But I choose to see the similarities. Isabelle is a baby like every other baby. Her needs and wants are the same. She laughs, loves and cries just like everyone else. She just has a little something extra. That little something extra makes her have to work so much harder than other kids just to do those everyday tasks- like crawling, walking and talking.
She will still conquer all the things - walking, crawling, jumping- that other kids can do but it will just come a little slower for her and she will have to work 100 times harder. But Sister is a fighter. She fought to be born, she fought to take her first breathe and she fought during her OHS and she won.
I have asked her ST to give me a heads up before her evaluation so I can try and prepare myself. Lets see if that works.