Memories and Milestones: Finding Joy on the Journey
The milestone moments of life — the kind of moments that people cherish forever — always call for celebration.
The first time a family is able to take their child home from the NICU after months, the first time your child takes his first steps after being told he may not be able to walk, the first time your child smiled after having a severe brain injury, the first time your child who is nonverbal signed his first word — these moments matter.
Sometimes, we may take the smallest milestones for granted without even realizing it. Life is full of amazing moments that some may not have the opportunity to cherish.
For many families impacted by developmental disabilities, progress may feel slow; maturational milestones are often bittersweet (Shulman, 2014).
Angel turned 15 years old last year, and it was so inspiring to see all his loved ones surround him with so much love and laughter. Angel is diagnosed with Down Syndrome, and his family members have supported him from the moment they learned he was coming into the world.
Angel has undergone many surgeries, including cataract surgery at 8 weeks old and open heart surgery shortly thereafter. He has had his tonsils and adenoids removed and ear tubes added. He also wore supramalleolar orthosis (SMOs) to help him walk.
Despite these challenges, Angel is an example of an amazing life. He is celebrated by his family, and they state what we have learned serving him at iCan Dream Center “we could not imagine life without him. Angel’s presence and contagious smile light up every room.”
Despite our emphasis on the development of the child, we are reminded often that the journey of parenthood — whether of a child with a developmental disability or not — involves quite a bit of parental development along the way, as well (Shulman, 2014).
At the iCan Dream Center, we celebrate our learners’ milestones. Student (and parent!) growth inspires us to give our all and brings so much joy. We recognize that families often need support beyond the classroom or counseling office to thrive; iCan Dream Center is committed to partner on the journey. We offer regular Parent Groups to provide a safe space to share concerns and resources. Information on our upcoming offerings is available at http://yh3.134.mywebsitetransfer.com/events/.
Sandoval, M (2020, May 7). Personal Interview
Shulman, L. (2014, January 24). Celebrating Milestones of Children with Developmental Disabilities. Retrieved from http://blogs.einstein.yu.edu/celebrating-milestones-for-the-developmentally-disabled/