Milestones can be a difficult time in the life of a child, though they are certainly moreso for a parent. While children don’t often know what’s going on (especially as very young children), the parents know exactly what’s supposed to be happening, anxiously waiting to watch their child do what’s appopriate for their age – and more importantly, praying that their child does it before anyone else’s child does!
Sam met most of his milestones on time for the first year of life. He sat up, crawled (army-scootch that turned into true crawling), and stood up on time. He was almost late to walk – he walked right at 15 months. According to the charts, he would be officially delayed after 15 months with no walking skills. He did say his first words right about a year, “mama” and “daddy”, but only once, and that was it. His only form of verbal communication his first two years was screaming. A lot of screaming. After a year of ABA therapy, he finally began using words. (You can read the whole story in the main menu under “About Me”) That milestone – using meaningful words – was HUGE.
We overcame another major milestone with Samuel a year ago when he finally mastered potty training at the age of 5. He barely made it into kindergarten, for which he first had to be potty trained. But he made it. I was convinced I would still be changing diapers on him as a teenager. I know people with special needs children who live that very reality. You just don’t know how much you take something for granted (like naturally expecting your child to do things every other child does at the appropriate time) until it is threatened.
The next major childhood milestone we are now facing with our autistic six year old is losing teeth. For a child with sensory challenges, I have been dreading this milestone for a long time. I’ve been afraid of how he would react to a loose tooth, then actually losing the tooth and the pain he feels that is exaggerated in his mind, then coping with the new void in his mouth. Tonight, after his bath, he told me he lost a tooth while I was gone earlier. I was shocked, not even knowing that he had a loose tooth. But then Kyle corrected him that he had not lost a tooth, it was only loose. But still… a loose tooth! How exciting for me and unfortunately, terrifying to him. He’s afraid of the pain it will cause when it comes out, though he’s completely fascinated with the fact that he can move it with his tongue.
Here’s hoping the mystery and excitement of getting a visit from the tooth fairy for the first time will quell his anxiety and fears. We made it past all the other milestones thus far, and there is no doubt we’ll make it past this one too, minus at least one tooth in the process.