Marching To The Beat Of My Own Drum
“Marching to the beat of my own drum and loving what makes me different with no concern of what others think”.... THAT is what Savannah continues to teach me!
As I closely watched and followed Savannah on the splash pad here on base, I had to interpret to other children what she meant when she would grab them and pull them without saying anything they could understand. I know her intentions and I feel frustration for Savannah when she can’t articulate what she wants to communicate to other children. I have observed her immediately hugging a new friend or grabbing them and yelling in excitement. I find myself immediately interceding and explaining what she is trying to do or say while reassuring her new friend. Yes, a typical toddler will grab a toy from another child and not want to share, but they are able to use words along with their actions.
These moments are teachable, but it takes more energy and effort from us special need parents. These moments are important for all of us, but honestly, it can be hard emotionally. It hurts my heart to see Savannah not be able to use her words as easily as other children her age. However, Savannah doesn’t seem to be affected at this age. She doesn’t see differences. She sees other children and are naturally drawn to them. She is so happy to be playing and observing other children. I watched with a full heart as Savannah excitedly observed another sweet girl that was about 7 years old, rest her face on her hands against a pole and count as other children scattered about. Immediately, Savannah mimicked her and began to count as well (in her language). This tells me how important the role of other children are to not only to Savannah, but to all others. We all have a purpose, no matter our age. Just as adults need to find “their people” and surround ourselves with positive influences and those that challenge us to be our best, children need the same.
I have recently discovered an app called Speech Blubs that will help give Savannah just that! As we know, the attention of children is captured more by other children. This app has children speaking and singing as a way to teach speech and communication skills! How fun is that?! I am beginning to add this learning tool to Savannah’s daily routine. Any victory takes effort and energy. Any victory isn’t without challenges, frustrations, and emotion. Any victory takes a village. That village includes other children and the important role they have in the lives of their peers. It includes other parents taking opportunities to teach their children that differences are a good thing. We would never learn and grow without them! So, as I continue to learn from my children, I will “March to the beat of my own drum and love what makes me different with no concern of what others think”.
I write about life and family. My heart's desire is to educate as I am being educated, while inspiring and encouraging others through the beauty of Down Syndrome.