Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ups n Downs


Maddie began another year of tumbling...this year she graduated to the all by herself class...we were not nervous about it...she has shown me with school that she is really good with or with out us...yes this tugs at my heart and ego...but when I first found out about Maddie's designer jeans I wanted her to be independent...I never thought it would happen by 3 years old...of course this is not a predictor of the future and her driving a car...but she is labeled and she is blowing the expectations and societies limitations of her out of the water...Maddie will change the perception of Down syndrome in our community...last night she went into her class we grabbed the carpet square and it was like we never left...I said see ya...she waved...she did her summersaults and danced...but what I got giddy about was she walked across the balance beam unassisted...a few slips...but she got right back up and pushed the teacher away for help...Maddie is so proud of herself...today she sang a song to the bus staff...they are very taken with her...I can tell they are good because she greets them with a big smile...The bus, school, tumbling...wow my girl can do it all...and there it is the reality of Maddie straight in the face...Maddie is that kid...and she is that stereotype of what I think of when i think of Down syndrome...and it catches me off guard and makes me get very uneasy and freak out a bit...Maddie is a very close talker and loud....and touches and hugs everyone she knows...to much...incisively...awkward for our culture and comfort...and I hate it...I have to stop it...now....but I do not know how...Maddie does not respond to time out...keep your hands to yourself...redirection...nothing...I can not trust her with kids younger or smaller then her or bigger for that matter...she does not know when to stop...yes other kids do this...but that is so NOT the point...this is something that I know can be a problem for adult Maddie...so I need to stop it now...but how...I just keep redirecting...talking with her...but nothing seems to get through...I turn around and there she is...hands on babies face....hugging a child that does not want to be hugged...I do not want her to have kids run from her...I do not want kids to be afraid of her...or annoyed by her...I do not tell the kids that Maddie is a designer child...I tell them to tell Maddie...no...stop touching me...keep your hands to yourself...Maddie was not always like this...there was a time when she was to herself and would go with no one...now she talks to everyone...says hi with a wave and a smile...and she just looks at them with distain when the acknowledgment is not reciprocated...Maddie is thriving in most parts of her development...she is imitating and I was told that is a beginning stage of speech...so is that the issue...am I the one that is modeling the close talking...because I kneel down to talk with my daycare kiddos...am I telling her to hug because I hug the kiddos...and if so...how do I model different...I can't...Maddie is a mini me...she walks, talks, and acts like me...I love it...but this scares me...I just love her...and I do not want her to be chastised for a social norm...this is the fine line that I do not now what to do...I do not want her ego hurt because someone does not like a close talking loud hugging babbling child in there face...I do not want her pushed or ignored...I want her embraced for her excitement for life...

8 comments:

  1. So glad Maddie is doing so well! I understand why some behaviors, completely normal for her age, may be of concern for the future. I worry too, is this a phase or will he be 14 and doing the same? I think redirection and treating her like any child will only help her in the future. You're doing the right thing, try not to worry too much ;)

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  2. Oh, she is doing amazing. I love it. Yes, that fine line between "correcting" those behaviors that others see as stereotypical for Down syndrome. We are constantly prompting Kristen to not hug everyone, not tell everyone that she loves them, etc. We will continue to teach "socially appropriate" behaviors because that is what will bring acceptance. It is hard though...I get that. And the forever imitator...good behavior and poor behavior. Oh, this post spoke to my heart. You are doing a great job Kim...never forget that. Maddie is an incredible little girl destined for big things!

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  3. Love the balance beam...and her pushing the teacher away...little miss independent! :) Sutter's obsession is walking on any curb we come across or cement divider in parking lots...maybe he should be signed up for gym class?!

    Sutter is a waver and says "HI" to everyone in stores or other public places but so far he hasn't started hugging or getting in people's faces...but there are kids at Landon's school that do it to him and he's not sure how to react to it! LOL Some of the little girls hug him, pull him, try to hold his hand and drag him places and one little girl squished his face with her hands the other day saying "come on Sutter lets go"...he just stood there trying to get away from her! hahaha I'd try redirecting her when she does it or saying "not so close" if she gets into their personal space...I'm sure with time and age she will grasp the concept of volume control and how close is too close! :) Personally I'd take one of her hugs any day!!!

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  4. We've been working on the hugging thing. Samantha is now at an age and stage where she is definitely starting to get it. Her teachers are working with us to help curb it, to favor fist bumps over hugs. Her 1st grade teacher called us yesterday to apologize, saying she gave Sammi a kiss goodbye when she left yesterday. LOL Our kids have some sort of hold over people. It's not our kids that need to be taught not to hug, it's the other people that need to be taught to keep *their* distance around our completely irrisistable kiddos!! Maddie's just perfect! :-)

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  5. I really wish that we could just retrain the rest of society to be more like Maddie. More hugging is what this world needs! I'm not making light of your dilemma, though. I know she has to learn to conform more. Remember that a lot of the things you've taught her just took a bit longer but she finally learned. It'll get better I bet.

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  6. I can feel your anguish, hear your fear, and sympathize with your plight.. BUT Susan is right it is the rest of us that need to be retrained! In all honesty though the safety involved with this issues scares the bejeebers out of me too.

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  7. Ya, I see what you are saying. It sucks to have to change something so beautiful and loving about our childrens natures just so they can fit in when they are older...But it needs to be done. They need to learn about others personal space and boundaries. She's still just a little girl so she will learn it with time.

    I loved the balancing beam story too! So awesome :)

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  8. I love the balance beam!! We are working on the kissing and hugging here too. Claire loves to give kisses it makes the other kids uncomfortable and I just flat out don't want her doing it. We can usually remind her to give high 5 or knuckles and that will make her happy.

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