Monday, May 4, 2015

Dreams really do come true.

Many parents who receive a new diagnosis of Down syndrome go through a period of mourning. They are mourning the loss of the child they thought they were going to have. We were no different.

Even the doctors tried to paint a bleak picture. A picture of a child who might not even make it to term, might not speak, might not be able read, and might have severe intellectual disabilities.

After coming to terms with the diagnosis and doing our mourning, we started to build new hopes and new dreams for our young son. Those dreams included speaking, reading, walking, running, and playing with his peers, etc.  It didn't take long for Ben to exceed our expectations.

So now the new dreams are remarkably close to the original dreams we gave up on. For the last two years Ben has been playing T-ball with his typical classmates. This year those classmates moved up to coach pitch baseball. We were on the fence trying to decide if we should allow Ben to try to play with his classmates or play another year of t- ball. Looking back I don't know why even trying seemed so scary.  We signed him up for t-ball. 
A few weeks later we got a call from one of the coaches who wanted Ben on his team. He really felt strongly about keeping the 1st grade boys together on one team. 
We are now 4 or 5 practices into the season and the first scrimmage was Saturday. Here's a clip of Ben at bat. 

What do you think? Did we make the right decision? Does it matter that he got out? Or is the most important thing that he really had fun playing baseball?

I admit to feeling pretty bad about not advocating for Ben when I should have. It's took another parent to stand up and tell me yes Ben can do this and we will help him be successful. 

So to all the parents who have little ones or just received a new diagnosis, keep dreaming. You never know how much potential your child has until you let them try.