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Tuesday, 8 November 2011

"Let Her Enjoy her Childhood"- when Specialists and Friends collide

Tiddler's Paediatrician appointment last week went ok. She is, apparently, 6 months delayed in her gross motor skills, but on course with her fine motor skills. Intellectually, he said that it's too early to tell how her development will pan out as intellectual growth kicks in from about now onwards. I know we would say this, but I am pretty sure she is doing ok intellectually.

After my wobble following Physio the other week, I asked him whether he thought a standing frame at Tiddler's age was quite (too) young? He said no- she wants to stand, she is trying to stand... she needs us to give her a helping hand. Standing will also really help build up her muscle tone as she wil have to work against gravity. Ok. Fair enough. I trust our Dr completely so thats good enough for me.

However, its not as straightforward as this. The other night, I spent a lovely evening with a couple of close friends. One of which had had a couple of shandies. They asked abut Tiddler, I partially updated them- telling them about the boots that she was to wear and how much she had hated trying them on. Cue drunken slurry rant interspersed with : "I am not being horrible..." and "Don't take this the wrong way...."

Basically, this friend told me to just let Tiddler enjoy her childhood, that the Drs were talking "bullshit", that T would walk when she was ready etc and why are they (and we) rushing her. The fact is, she is not the only person who has said similar to us. I know she wasn't exactly sober, but I wouldnt dream of saying the things to her that she said to me. I wouldn't ever volunteer my opinion on how she should bring up her child. I sincerely hope I wouldn't anyway, drunk or not.

What are we supposed to do? If Tiddler is 6 months delayed with her gross motor skills then without a leg up- excusing the pun- she is potentially faced with being a very late walker. There is no suggestion at this time that she won't be able to walk. So surely we are letting her down if we don't give her all the assistance she needs, albeit at this young age. Obviously we have to trust the medical profession. We have to have faith in them and we do, although at times it makes me sad that Tiddler is so entrenched in the "system" and sometimes I just want to scoop her up and run away from all the meddling/ exercise/ regimes etc.

Things are difficult. They will continue to be difficult. Our life would be easier without contradiction, and this includes that from well- meaning friends and family. They are not with us 24 hours a day, they do not see her abilities and frustration like we do. We must trust medical opinion. I just wish family and friends could keep their comments to themselves as voicing them puts us in an impossible position.


  1. V, I am so sorry that you had to go through that. Please don't doubt yourself. You are her mother and you and your OH know what's best for your daughter's health and development. Like you say, you are with her 24 hours a day and you are in possession of all the facts. With your love and commitment she will blossom and if that means a walking stand then why not? The Paeds Doc thought it was ok and so did you until your friend had a few too many shandies.
    Trust your own instincts as a mother and stay strong. You're doing a great job for Tiddler xxx

  2. Like any mum, any family, you are doing your best for Tiddler. Nobody else can walk in your shoes and it sounds as if your path is rocky right now. The main thing is that you are doing your best and that is all you can do. Sometimes people don't think before they speak and that mixed with alcohol can mean trouble.Keep going, hun.Sounds to me like you are doing a good job & I send you a big hug. Sarah x

  3. If T goes on to have problems later on, I'm afraid comments that hurt, offend or anger are path of the course. It is possibly the thing that saddens me most when I lurk on the SN forums. People don't understand, but why should they? We didn't before circumstances put us in this situation. You will feel more protective of T than you would ever have believed possible, but don't let that isolate you from the non SN world around you. Hear the intention behind the thoughtless comments, and where needed educate the person you're talking to. Could your friend have been trying to reassure you by being dismissive? I'm sure she diesn't like the idea of T having to struggle more than other kids the same age, and her way of expressing it is to try and convince you and herself that there really is nothing to worry about