Friday, January 9, 2015

Personality And Down Syndrome

I want to take a minute to talk about personality and Down syndrome.

Once upon a time, when I received the diagnosis, I honestly and truly thought that this meant that my daughter would have NO personality. That every part of her would be exactly like every other person with Down syndrome-- that she wouldn't be a unique little girl with moods and skills all her own.

I was wrong.

Lately I have been watching baby/toddler Addison emerge into this beautiful little girl FULL of personality.
 She has a sassy side,
a cranky side,
 a mischievous side,
 and a "pretend to cooperate" side.
 Watch out because she will steal your phone. Her finger will swipe through your pictures like a pro. And don't worry-- she will only call China once or twice a week.
 When she was a baby, she used to make these extremely dramatic faces.
That expressiveness has grown with her. Usually when chocolate or ice cream is involved, this dramatic side is intensified.
This involves stealing chocolate from the pantry when Mom thinks she is eating her clementine snack super quietly. (and then laughing about it...she seriously has the best laugh ever. I dare you to hear it and not laugh too.)
She LOVES to read. To imaginary audiences, into the mirror, to her baby brother-- she is always reading. Recently we discovered that she is well on her way to REAL reading. I cannot wait to see the joy she will get from reading books as she grows.
 She also has this incredibly sweet side. If you are lying down, she will come tuck a blanket so gently around you.
She gives hugs and kisses with the best of them...
...right before she pushes you. Sigh. She pushes those she loves, but STILL. We are working on this. (As you can tell, she is super torn up about her pushing problem)
I guess what I'm trying to do is show you instead of just telling you-- individuals with Down syndrome have personality. (Probably more than you know what to do with!) I am just so in love with Addison's big personality-- her likes, her dislikes, her love of dance. 

I wish I had known this when I got her diagnosis. This is a big reason why I still blog-- to give others this advantage of an inside look into Down syndrome that I didn't have.

And I keep discovering new things every day-- for example: not only does she have great personality, she has skills! Her own set of unique skills! (another thing I had no idea would be part of life with Down syndrome)

Lately she has been getting up from naptime wearing an entirely different outfit than the one I put her down in. Here's the thing-- her new outfits are almost always matching (and oftentimes, cute combinations of her clothes that I didn't think of trying). She also loves to wear jewelry (sometimes for only ten seconds before she takes it off...but oftentimes she begs me for it). And if I put her in an outfit she doesn't like (aka isn't cute), she can get quite upset with me until I change her. I have now gotten to the point where I ask her to choose between several outfit options before I dress her. She always picks/makes the cutest combinations (see pictures above).

Fashionista????? We shall see. (-:

I asked her if we could go shopping together so she could help me pick out clothes. She said "No".

I'm going to work on changing her mind.

I was worried that we wouldn't have a normal mother/daughter relationship. That there would be no camaraderie between us. That she would be boring.

 I LOVE that I was so wrong. So very, very wrong.
She's the very best mother a daughter could ask for.

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