When you are dealing with a particularly challenging phase, it's often easy to focus on the negatives and dismiss the positive things that happen. While I am feeling frustrated a lot of the time lately when it comes to finding solutions for some of Colin's more difficult behaviors, I also don't want that to take away from all of the pretty great things that he has been improving upon.
We are still working really hard at feeding therapy and while he is not consistently eating new things, he is really willing to try many different items. What's even better, he often approaches us and asks us to try them instead of us always initiating it with him. We've had many discussions with his feeding therapist about the fact he often likes different things, but it's as though he's afraid to really give in and release the notion that he has to say no all of the time.
He's even added things like chicken to his repertoire at feeding therapy and admits to liking it (he pleasantly says things like "Mmmm, yummy!") but yet if offered at other times, won't just buy into it. We feel no rush at this time and although we continue to work through this challenge, know that eventually he will just "get it". I read a post on Facebook recently from a Mom with an older child with Down Syndrome and she mentioned that after all the years of fighting through, he was finally starting to try and eat many different things. At this time, we are happy that Colin is eating what he does, he's growing and healthy and is willing to try different things. We've come a long way.
While Colin is demonstrating some "testing" type behaviors, he is still a pretty good kid. We often overlook the great behaviors he exhibits because we are so focused on the things that need to improve. He consistently uses manners (more than the average adult), he is loving (but on his own terms, further showing that kids with Down Syndrome don't all fit the stereotypes; he does NOT want to be hugged and touched all of the time which is a challenge with his classmates at the daycare because they DO want to do that with him), he follows directions when it comes to cleaning up, putting things away and completing different tasks (although resists this at times just like other typical toddlers), and he's a fun kid who likes to be active and try different things.
Colin's attention span and completing fine motor skills is also making huge leaps and bounds. Over the weekend, he spent a solid 20 minutes working on a puzzle with my mom which left me in utter disbelief. Puzzles are frustrating and challenging for him, but he continued to work with help and problem solve to put the pieces together. We are finding he is making nice progress in holding a pencil and tracing his name and certain shapes and letters are emerging without the need to trace.
We are really proud of Colin and all that he IS accomplishing. Check him out in this Toys R Us 2014 National Games ad!