I get asked by a lot of people if we saw a regression in Skylar or if she had always shown delays in many areas. My answer isn’t cut & dry. Skylar had some motor delays and I believe those were due to the birth trauma she had. She sat up right on schedule. She didn’t crawl in a traditional sense. The best way to describe her crawling was “scoot swimming”. She pushed off with her back legs and pulled with her arms. She looked like she was doing the breast stroke on the floor. She didn’t walk until she was 15 months. Even though her motor skills were somewhat delayed, her language developed early on and she said many clear words and 2-3 word combos. She said: thank you, please, more milk, my ball, mommy, daddy, Becca, baby, grandma, etc. The best way to describe the changes we saw in Skylar is to show you in pictures.
Skylar was an extremely happy baby! She had great eye contact.
She also loved to snuggle and be held.
Doesn’t Chris look like a teenager in the picture below?
She was so bubbly and laughed all the time! We used to joke that her personality was as crazy as her hair!
She would play in this playhouse for hours. I loved listening to her talk and pretend to pour our dog Rex his favorite tea.
Then things started to change. She was extremely unhappy and stopped using words. She stopped smiling.
She lost all eye contact.
It is hard to explain the shift that took place in her. The best way I can describe it is that she lost that “gleam” in her eyes!
While all the other kids were upstairs playing together with their new toys from Christmas, Skylar played by herself. She played with this train for hours on end in my parent’s basement. She would start & stop the train over & over & over.
No amount of hollering her name or waving things could get her to look at a camera.
She did not like to play with other children. But she would play with my niece, Becca.
She seemed to be trapped in her own little world. I so longed to know what she was thinking. I just wished she could answer me: “Are you sad? Are you lonely? Are you happy? Are you confused? Are you hurt? What’s wrong? Please talk to me!”
As years went by we saw improvement. More hugs.
And improved eye contact.
It is tough for me to look at the pictures of Skylar’s regression. However, as I look at these pictures, I see the tremendous progress she has made over the past 10 years & I am SO encouraged. She has come such a long way! She’s doing things that her diagnosing doctor said she would never do. Here she is competing in her school spelling bee just a few weeks ago.
And singing the solo in her Christmas concert this year.
There are so many people who we know are part of the tremendous progress she has made, including this woman, whom I wrote about here.
And these people , who have never given up on her & have been with us EVERY step of the way. We could not have gotten through this without our family!
And last, but certainly not least…YOU! We are so thankful for all the support, love, encouragement and prayers that we have gotten from so many of you.
It’s been a long and tough 10 years, but I can’t wait to see all the things that this sweet girl is going to accomplish in the next 10!
Thanks for walking this road with us!
And for those of you who are just starting to walk this journey or are even a few years into it, my advice for you is this: “Never, ever give up! Don’t let anyone tell you what your child can or can’t do! Also, pull out your camera and document your journey. I am so glad that even during a lot of sad & stressful times, that I took pictures. When I feel discouraged all I have to do is pull up these pictures and see how far we have come!
This is one big reason that I do Project Life. I love documenting our every day and seeing her accomplishments and her progress. You can read about what Project Life is here.
Make each day great!