Monday, January 3, 2011


In researching Down syndrome after Eon's birth, I discovered the general consensus was that he would be "more alike than different" (from typical kids) and that he would just learn to do things a little slower.

While those things are certainly true, I'm discovering there is a little more to it than that simplistic explanation. I expected that he would take forever to learn to crawl, walk, feed himself with utensils, etc. Those are things my typical kids struggled a bit to master. I was right. We're still working on utensils.

There are also things that I did not anticipate that he struggles with. He has been working in PT on sitting in a low chair or stool. He loves to sit on things his size, he just can't seem to figure out how to do it. He approaches the stool, and rather than just turn and sit, he tries to climb onto it from the front. That doesn't work. After several attempts, he generally ends up straddling it. I never noticed my typical kids learning this skill. They just knew it.

The wonder PT, Jill, is teaching him to walk backwards to sit down. Which is a great idea...except Eon generally sits about a foot in front of the actual chair. After he sits short of the chair, he turns, surprised to see the chair behind him. (Terrible mom alert: I laugh every time. It is just too cute and I can't help myself!) You'd think this would be terribly frustrating, but he just gets up and tries again.

Another thing that he cannot seem to master is getting off the bed. We have a king-size bed and he has found ingenious ways of getting onto it. His favorite is to push the desk chair over, climb onto that and then onto the bed, but he's also been known to stack books into a pile to climb on, too. Getting off is a whole 'nother thing. By the time he's ready to get off the bed, someone has invariably moved the chair. For almost an entire year, we've been telling him, showing him, helping him to "turn and shimmy" off the bed to the floor. Sometimes, he actually does it, but usually, he just sits and whines until someone rescues him. Not sure what's up with that.

I also kind of expected that once he "got" something, he would have it mastered. That was true of crawling and walking (although his balance isn't that great, yet), but not at all true of speaking and signing. He gets a word and will use it frequently and correctly for several weeks only to "lose" it and never speak it again, or at least for a long while. We have seen "doggy", "ball", "Micky", and "book" just disappear. It is baffling and beyond frustrating to me. The signs that have disappeared seem to reappear much more quickly, although I haven't seen "again" for several weeks.

Those little quirks aside, he is doing great! He understands almost everything and follows commands really well. He's starting to string 2-3 signs together to make "sentences". He is really in tune to other people's feelings and feels really bad when someone is upset. He tries to make them feel better. When his baby sister cries, he will go and get her blanket or get her pacifier (and put it on her forehead - cracks me up!) The other day, he accidentally hurt his older sister and he just looked devastated. He signed, "hurt", "Ellie", and "sad", then folded himself in half and cried.

Maybe it's the therapist in me, but I find the way his brain processes fascinating. I can tell we are in for a wild ride! :)


  1. Great point! I too found the "More alike than different" saying, reassuring, however not completely accurate. Thanks for your insight and sharing the cute little things he does :)

  2. Love this! We were told due to Kelsey's brain injury that she would be able to do things but her brain could have to find different ways of connecting the dots. I am seeing it play out so much now that she is about to be 3. I love her oddly wired, fully functioning brain! It sounds like Eon is doing beautifully.

  3. I find with Parker that he's more alike in areas such as likes, wants, needs, etc. Just like my two older boys Parker would LIVE outside if he could. He loves anything with a ball. He loves most of the same stuff my other kids did at his age.

    He learns differently. That's for sure. But that's okay. :)

  4. I love hearing all the cute things Eon does :)
    I have noticed with Russell he will learn something, do it for a few weeks, and then stop and never do it again! Its actually kind of nice to hear other kids do the same thing!
    I too, find how his mind functions and what makes it different fascinating!

  5. Your post reminded me of things I'd forgotten: teaching Jessie to "shimmy" off the bed, sit in a chair....yes, those things I can't remember with my other two kids. They just seemed to know how.