Tuesday, 8 March 2016

A little something extra... Everyday

I don't think about or see Ella's Down's syndrome everyday. I used to, but not now.  On the face of it she is like many typical 5 year olds. She goes to school, has lots of friends, argues with her little sister and doesn't listen when she's asked to do something. She loves being outside, being creative, helping in the kitchen, dancing, trampolining, roly polys and of course, chocolate. 

But, there are differences that come with having a 47th chromosome - that 'little bit extra' (a complete third 21st chromosome for most) that those with Down's syndrome have.  Ella still needs help with lots of things that her peers don't - getting dressed, help with what is happening next, encouragement in her play and support with all aspects of learning at school - to name a few. It also means that Ella herself has to work that little bit harder in order to learn new things or gain new skills.

The little bit extra also means that Ella's had some medical issues along the way too - her heart defect which she had surgery for at 6 months old, low muscle tone which led to poor feeding and meant she took longer to learn how to roll, crawl, stand and walk. She's also had some hearing issues over the years and wears glasses to correct her poor vision. 

So, that little bit extra is responsible for a big change in many areas of Ella's life and development. Having an impact on her health, her view of the world, how she learns and how she communicates. 

But I've also learnt over the last 5 years that that little bit extra means so much more than challenges and worries. That little bit extra is packed with bravery, tonnes of determination, a bucket load of independence, lashings of cheekiness, and a humbling awareness of kindness, compassion and love. 

I feel very priveleged that we get to experience our amazing girl who has that 'little bit extra' (and all it brings with it)... Everyday
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