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Celebrating the 'Inchstones' for My Son With Down Syndrome

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Eli was in therapy for years trying to learn to sip through a straw. We did OT, ABA and feeding therapy trying to get him to learn. Last year around this time, a little after he turned 5, I gave up trying at home, and I’ll admit I kinda gave up on him. He still had his honey bear cup every day with his smoothie, but he learned to just squeeze it to get the smoothie up the straw.

We eventually stopped therapy when he started kindergarten in the fall. We had put so much time, sweat and tears into it with what seemed to be zero results. I remember when I got his diagnosis, I promised myself that I would never compare him to typical peers his age, but I found myself comparing him to other kids with Down syndrome, years younger, who were doing things before him without any therapy.

Then last week one of my girls started screaming to come quick. Eli took a sip of her drink like he’d been doing it his entire life.

He did it on his timeline, not on mine or a therapist’s.

He’s taught me so many life lessons and I’m so grateful for all of his progress — from the tiny inchstones to the giant milestones.

Originally published: March 3, 2021
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