Nathan is Hebrew and means "gift from God" - we couldn't have been more blessed than to have been chosen as his parents!

Thank you for keeping up-to-date with Nathan. We hope you visit often and enjoy experiencing our son's journey as much as we do. Please feel free to leave comments.

We love hearing from everyone!!!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Slowly But Surely.....

I've rarely blogged about Nathan's development lately, because in the grand scheme of things, he's doing very well, and his therapists are terrific about acknowledging his progress. But, as his Mom, it just breaks my heart to see him struggle. This weekend Nathan's teacher Nicole, came to visit us at camp, and it was a great opportunity for me to go up on the jungle gym with him while Nicole stayed at the bottom of the slide to catch him on his descent. There were lots of other little ones playing too, and it gave me the chance to really see Nathan's developmental challenges.

He struggled right out of the gate. Trying to climb the ladder which led to the slide, was a major hurdle for Nathan. He just couldn't get the motor plan together to figure it out; even though he knows how to climb regular slide stairs. The ladder, although the same concept, is visually different and he tried really hard, but wasn't able to put it together.

Once I got him up the ladder, he had to duck down to make it through a tunnel or go through a walk way that has a smaller opening on either side to get to the slide. The path he chose, forced Nathan to duck down at both ends. Well, we made it through the initial opening and he took off like a bolt of lightening; only to end up running straight into the other side, full speed ahead. I saw this coming, and as I was trying to sneak through, I kept yelling, "Nathan watch where your going!" To no avail. SMACK! And, down he went. Broke my heart.

Nathan has yet to develop the ability to multi-function (not sure what else to call it). He can't run, process where he is in space, and duck to avoid potentially catastrophic occurrences, like this. He has yet developed the cognitive ability to associate climbing the ladder with climbing the slide stairs. He will, I know. But, to watch your toddler struggle while all the other little ones are making this look like 'child's play,' pun intended, was devastating. This is because Nathan has Down syndrome, yeah I know, but I take some of the blame here myself. Nathan's smart...he just needs practice. He needs to be put in this environment more, and given the proper support to succeed. I'm sure this will be a constant thread throughout our lives. It's fine. It is, what it is.

I don't want this post to be a total downer because Nathan's making tremendous progress in many areas of development. He is verbalizing and mimicking words like crazy. His sign language abilities have increased tremendously, and he's beginning to understand how communication, either verbal or through sign, is a tool to getting what he wants. I've taught him the sign for "movie," because he has his own DVD player in the car, for our frequent drives everywhere! And now, whenever we get into the car, he signs movie because he wants to watch his favorite Sesame Street shows. He just loves the music and the characters. It's so fun to watch him interact with the DVD's. We're heading to Sesame Place in a few days and he's going to have a blast! We have a fun filled couple of days ahead of us, and we just can't wait to see him light up when he watches the shows and spends time with the REAL Elmo! YEAH!! Watch out Cookie Monster, we're coming to town!


deb said...

Terry it is so good to read your updates on your beautiful Nathan. I know exactly how you are feeling! Nicholas has those same stuggles and has overcome many of them. I know that the main thing is to always remember that our babies will do all of these things... in their own time. I always think about how blessed I am to be able to watch him grow at a bit slower pace than typical children and not miss a thing. It sure makes you proud to see how hard our kids work and how excited we all are when they conquer the hurdles. You are a great Mom and role model!

Mairead Elizabeth Hickok said...

Nathan is an amazing little boy with an amazing mommy and daddy. You and Danny are doing such a wonderful job of raising a smart and beautiful little boy. It is so hard to watch them struggle, and so heartbreaking to see how things that come so easily for others are such a challenge for our own kids. But, our kids have already overcome more adversity in 2 (ish) years than most people will in a lifetime. They are amazing for that!