In this picture, Asher is next to a family friend's baby who is ten weeks younger than Asher. It is only when Asher is next to an average sized baby that his unique size and proportions are obvious. And while we make every effort not to compare Asher to other babies, it is hard some days to watch other babies that are Asher's age (or quite a bit younger) sit up, hold their head up off the ground, some are even able to pull up and stand on their own. And believe me - I know, I know - all babies are different and they do things in their own time. But I'm human - and I have to make the conscious effort to stop myself from focusing on all of the 'milestones' other babies are hitting right now - and focus on the milestones that Asher is hitting.
Asher learned to blow raspberries. Asher learned his first sign language sign - and can now ask for milk. Asher can hold his head up for limited periods of time when you are holding him up (and boy, does he get so excited). Asher learned to roll onto his side. Asher loves to jibber jabber at us constantly throughout the day. Asher learned to play the xylophone. Asher smiles and laughs - ALL. THE. TIME.
Asher has achieved amazing milestones all on his own. So while it is easy to look at other babies doing things Asher can't yet - or to get disheartened when other mom's talk about how their baby started sitting up at 4 months old - I've realized the importance of focusing on the milestones Asher is meeting. Most importantly, I remind myself that Asher is not behind in anything. Asher is simply on a different path. He is meeting his milestones exactly when he, as a unique individual baby, should meet them, and when it is healthy and safe for him to meet them.
Out with the old, in with the new!
Once I came to terms with this - I realized it was time for me to simply delete and ignore any reference to typical developmental milestones for the average baby. That ship has sailed, people. So I went digging for charts that would help me know what to expect for Asher. Public Service Announcement - that is not easy when you still do not have a diagnosis. Putting that tidbit aside though, I found the chart shown below, which outlines the developmental milestones for babies with Achondroplasia.
Since Achondroplasia is by far the most common type of dwarfism there is, it follows that it is the type that there is the most extensive research available for. While this will likely not be a perfect representation of Asher's developmental path - it is likely the closest representation we will be able to find. And low and behold - my sweet little man is right on target. The more you know, people.
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