Last week I took a walk with Sam and Max the Wonder Dog. The weather was cold, dreary and windy. I was not happy because after all, this is Spring. I did see a few signs of Spring here and there but not what I wanted. I wanted a full-blown, leafed out trees and a mild kind of perfect Spring weather day. Things weren’t happening fast enough for me (insert foot stomp here). And then I heard in my head….soon. Hang on Susan because Spring will be here just not on your time schedule.
That started the wheels turning in my head. Waiting for Spring is like waiting for the next skill to emerge from one of my kids with Downs syndrome, and really as a parent, for any of our kids. We have a time line in our head of when we ‘think’ the next skill should happen. After all there are charts for that. Sitting up, crawling, talking, walking….a chart for that. Reading, writing and learning math facts, yep another chart. But what if our kids don’t make those goals? What if Sally and Johnny don’t walk until they are 2 or older? What if they don’t read until they are 10, 12,14 or even 16? Stop and look for signs of Spring while whispering “soon”. Start looking for the emerging skill instead of the full-blown done that one. I will use Sam as an example but you can fill in the blank for the skill your child is working on now.
Sam is in the just beginning the blossom stage of reading and he is 16 years old! I believe in Sam and know he will learn to read in his time. This past quarter at school he got 49 hours of one on one phonics instruction. I have seen tremendous strides in his reading and I hear the word ‘soon’ echoing around in my brain. Every time he reads to me I hold my breath. I am amazed when he reads a word that I was convinced he wouldn’t know. It has been a long winter in the reading area for Sam but Spring is on the way. If you think your child can accomplish something then don’t let others try to convince you that he can’t. Time lines….Forgedaboudit. Get the help your child needs, follow-up at home and remember….soon!