I can vividly recall the first time, while reading a weekly update on what milestones and/or behaviors my child “may” be displaying, of becoming slightly concerned. As I’m sure many parents know, although the parenting books and websites preface the timeline of these milestones ‘only as guidelines,’ we tend to truly read them as an end-all, be-all. This marks the beginning of comparing your child to others.
At around six to seven months old, Avery was not imitating any sounds and he also refused to put weight on his legs. I brought this up to his pediatrician but he simply said some children go at their own pace. Avery did not sit unassisted until around nine months and this truly alarmed me. Still, everyone around me told me it was nothing to worry about and that he was simply just a chubby, happy and lazy baby. What everyone didn’t know was that I was very concerned.
I knew in my gut that something was wrong. Even though at the time he was not severely delayed, something didn’t feel right. At his ten month checkup he still was not putting weight on his legs and was nowhere near crawling. Finally, his pediatrician and I were on the same page in thinking that something was possibly wrong.
I left that appointment with referrals to physical therapy, ophthalmology, an urologist and last….for genetic testing. I understood the therapy for his lack of crawling. I understood ophthalmology due to the tendency for Avery’s eyes to cross. I understood urology because his doctor discovered he had a hard time locating his testicles. However, genetic testing? For what? The doctor looked at me and said, “I feel we should look into genetics because he has multiple issues going on and because of his abnormal facial features.”
“Abnormal facial features,” I asked aloud, feeling very confused. “We think he’s adorable.”
Photo Credit~ Heleyna Holmes Photography