Shocking, I know since he is, in fact a...BOY.
But for this Mom who had a girl first, it is a new territory.
About a year ago, my sister gave me a stern, tongue-in-cheek warning: boys are different than girls. I thought to myself "yeah, right, they can't be that different."
And, admittedly, I also had the thought rolling around in my head that, because of Wyatt having Down syndrome, that "boy" side would not be all that pronounced. My sister, just like me, had a girl first, then a boy (and subsequently another amazing little girl, Piper who is almost 9 months old now. We call her Sweet P, and boy do I adore her!!).
I should have silenced the voices in my head and listened to my sister. He is soooooo boy.
There are certain things that you realize you never have said before to your child when you have a boy after having a girl. Things like...
"Stop scratching your behind."
"Don't put your hands down your pants."
"Please stop throwing [the remote, the baby doll, the toothbrush, your food, the car...]"
"Stop ramming the truck into the wall, chair, your sister..."
"It's not polite to play with your..."
So what does this have to do with gross motor for a boy with Down syndrome?
I realized one day when I was playing at the park with my kids that Wyatt is becoming a"typical" boy and he loves to MOVE! Just like so many other boys!
I was kind of avoiding the playgrounds because I thought that, since Wyatt was not walking like a "typical" two-year-old, the playground would be too much for him. Oh how wrong I was! I really regret not talking him and letting him loose sooner!
He absolutely loves the playground and park. He was using the spokes on the handrails to walk himself up and down inclines (awesome PT). He was letting go and walking himself to and from different steering wheels and other moving parts of the playground. He was sliding (and signing) down the slides (head first and loving it)! He was climbing up a five foot rock wall - getting to the top, face beaming with pride! He rode a pink pig (holding on and rocking - which I wasn't sure he could do), played and swung like a champ (which he has been doing for a while.)
|Who doesn't love riding a retro Pink Pig?|
|Look at me! I'm suck a big boy!|
|Eden and Wyatt swinging - perfect happiness at it's finest.|
[TIP: Put your child side ways in the infant swing and swing them. This can stimulate the ear follicles and encourage body awareness and balance.]
I realized again that I should not limit my son. A consistent lesson over these two and a half years. He is capable of so many things! Some days I am protective, but I know that protecting him will only limit him.
The other day at the playground, he was with Josh and fell on the steps. He scraped part of his eyeborw and eyelid. He fussed for a minute and went right back to playing, like it was nothing. Whatta boy!
I write this to remind others that we should continue to include our children in everyday activities. Sometimes we forget that (even this Special Ed teacher). My advice? Go for it! Let them rule the playground and be a boy...or a girl! You'll get a great gross motor PT session out of it and you may just realize your child can do more than you thought.
I'll keep visiting the playground. But, in the meantime, I'll be picking up every toy we have from Wyatt throwing it, watching him play with his trucks and repeatedly telling him to take his hands out of his pants. : )
|Just a boy and his truck|