Try This Tuesday #47: Stage Not Age

Try This Tuesday

Welcome to Try This Tuesday! This week, DS.MAMA from Down Syndrome New Mama is sharing an awesome resource for tracking your baby’s milestones. I think it could be useful for other children with developmental delays as well, and there are also other versions of this resource available.

Stage Not Age

One of the first things to get over when you have a newborn with Down syndrome is looking for milestones based on your baby’s age.

We have all heard stories about so-and-so’s baby who held his head up before the placenta was delivered and walked at six months old. Most of us have read some form of a What to Expect book and have a general idea of how old a baby is when certain things happen. Flush that knowledge from your mind and try not to pay too much attention to Mrs. So-and-so.

Babies with Down syndrome develop along the same path as a typical baby, meaning they reach most milestones in developmental order but they do it on their own schedule. They also have a lot more milestones to celebrate. Who knew there were a zillion sensory and gross-motor skills that are reached before a baby rolls over? You are going to need a whole bunch more cute stickers for that First Year Calendar than the measly 10 that came with it.

There is an amazingly detailed resource out there for setting expectations for your baby’s development and tracking your child’s progress from birth through about the first five years. It is called the “Developmental Journal for Babies and Children with Down syndrome” and is put out by the English government program, Early Support.

The material is provided for free online in pdf format, and the hardcopy journal can be ordered and shipped free anywhere in the UK just by requesting it. I had my copy shipped to a friend’s mother and got it once my friend returned to the US after a visit home to England. When you see the journal you’ll realize that this group has put a ton of research and effort into this project, and you will be thankful to the Brits for this contribution to your resource arsenal.

The journal includes the five areas of development (communication, social-emotional development, cognition and play, motor and sensory development, and self-help) and is categorized by 11 developmental steps. For each item, there are three columns to track your baby’s progress. There is also room for adding notes and questions.

Enjoy your baby’s stages because while they sometimes seem like they’ll last forever, they won’t. And, make sure you go get your journal!

DS.MAMA is a mother of three, and her youngest child has Down syndrome. She created her blog to be a resource for new parents of a baby with Down syndrome and a place for the experienced to share what worked and what didn’t. You can visit her at Down Syndrome New Mama.

Thanks, DS.MAMA!

Please join in and share the creative solutions YOU have found to your own challenges, or feel free to post your own challenge for input from others. Just leave the link to your post in the Mr. Linky so we can all visit and learn or help. For more details on how to participate, please check out the welcome post.

As the host of Try This Tuesday, Trish shares some of the solutions she has found to make life easier and invites you to do the same. You can also find her at her blogs, Another Piece of the Puzzle and Autism Interrupted.

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