Anna had an awesome summer! She has been enjoying horseback riding and swimming. But, the highlight of our summer was our trip to Italy, we had an incredible time! Besides the Gondola ride, her favorite part was the water taxi in Venice -a speedboat to get back to the airport as we celebrated her 4th birthday!
Anna has had many challenges to overcome, and I want to share one of those challenges regarding her motor development this summer. She struggles in her balance and coordination, her lax ligaments make it hard for her to keep up with everyone although she desperately wants to. I noticed that in general, she tends to avoid motor activities perhaps because it is so challenging for her. She would much rather sit and read a book. When she had the option to Ride a tricycle, this was very apparent. Two pedals with me pushing and she would quickly want to get off her trike. In May there was preschool bike day. I plopped her on the tricycle and encouraged her to ride, thinking that the setting with other children may encourage her, and my heart was heavy as the other children were whizzing by with their scooters and tricycles. She wanted off as soon as possible, I included a video clip so you can all see what happened.
That time made me realize something important-I had been so focused on her speech that I had completely ignored the motor development piece. I am certain other parents feel the same struggle- overwhelmed with the fact that Down Syndrome seems to affect every domain and it’s so hard to work on everything all at once. Especially, if you work or have other children-it makes it that much worse, the “number of things I have to do.” Despite this, I was determined to not let those feelings of being overwhelmed stop us from continuing to keep her active and helping her to overcome her challenge. I realize that as parents it is a daily struggle to do the best we can for our children. We may not get it perfect; we may not get it the way we wanted or envisioned, but it’s not an excuse to give up. We have to keep getting up each day and putting our best foot forward even though we may fall multiple times. In conjunction with the physical therapist, we made that another goal-riding her tricycle. We practiced as much as we could and by the end of summer, she was able to ride it and even steer it herself, what a difference! (see video clips)
Our children can achieve-always learning and progressing over a lifetime. We can’t let her “disability” be an excuse for anything. I believe in her and I know she can overcome any obstacle. It may take more time, but I know she can and will succeed!
No matter what she faces, as I know there will be more challenges for her in the future, that with dedication, persistence, and hard work, she can do it and so can your child!