yesterday was maya's first speech therapy session. i'm so grateful that we have found a therapist that will take maya on so early in her development. maya seemed quiet that morning with this new lady in her life. she blew some raspberries, smiled a bit, but didn't utter a sound other than what i call her "growl", when she became wet. i couldn't help but ask the therapist if she is far behind at this stage. it might seem to others a strange question to ask. maybe not in a good way. but i ask these questions because i want to know what i can do to help my daughter. the fact is that we will have to work a little harder at reaching "milestones". i know that maya will be able to accomplish very much, but this will not come without hard work.
later that day maya and i went to a mom's group. there i met an almost 3 month old who was already holding his head up and was able to sit up (with some assistance). i haven't been able to really sit next to another baby while maya is with me, so seeing this really hit me. i realized then that my maya is for sure a little behind. at 5.5 months she had just mastered her head control maybe a month before that. people tell me all the time that babies develops at their own pace, but it's also known that babies with down syndrome develop at a slower pace then average. speech, physical and occupational therapy is designed to help her keep up. and i see that it certainly does help.
for a minute i felt a little sad. maybe because i wished i could take "normal" development of my daughter for granted. as others might just watch as their children to do the little things that babies do as they grow up, i will have to work at them with her. but then again i will always have something to boost about. i do see that i always have something to tell my friends when they ask how maya is doing. i'm very aware of all the little accomplishments she earns. and i don't mind sharing them with others.
lately i've been thinking i need to write all these little actions down, so i won't forget them. one of the amazing things she is doing now is grabbing at toys. this might not seem like a big deal but i see the energy that she has to use to move her hands towards the toy and the will in her eyes as she struggles. when i dangle a rattle over her, she eyes the toy, and her hands open instantly. i notice right away how she is working so hard to move her hands because they shake with all the effort. sometimes they don't move for a long while, they just stay there and shake.
this week i have been noticing the difference in her effort to grab the toy. she is now able to put both her hands up to her little soft cube toy, almost right away. i try and cheer her on with a happy clap and "yeaaaah maya!" it makes her smile at me sometimes. i'd like to think she is smiling also at herself. every time she does this i feel so lucky to share this experience with her. and know that she is a fighter.