What a Difference a Year Makes

Nicola Sheldon by Nicola Sheldon Additional Needs

Nicola Sheldon

Nicola Sheldon

I'm Nicola, mama to three awesome boys. We live in Thatcham, Berkshire with my husband and dad extraordinaire Chris along with our dog Percy and ca...

One of my favourite things to do every day is to check out my "memories" from previous years on this day.

Sometimes the memories are good, sometimes they're really difficult, and sometimes they're just random!

I enjoy seeing the disjointed one-sided conversations from 10 years ago, (before Facebook had the reply function!) Being reminded of friendships that are long gone now but were so good in their season.

My eldest recently celebrated his 7th birthday and it is so much fun to see his birthday through the years, how he has grown, how the presents have matured, the cakes become more epic in construction!

I was reminded recently of the day last year where Thomas sat on his own unsupported for the first time.

He was 2.5 years old and the photo was taken at nursery.

He's sat cross-legged in the garden, clearly concentrating very hard on controlling his dystonia for the handful of seconds it took to take the photo.

When I saw the photo uploaded onto his learning portal I cried.

This was something we didn't think he'd be able to do, and if he could do this what else could he do?

And this sort of control could open up so much more equipment for him!

I shared it on Facebook and everyone was so excited for him, and I read all these comments back to myself a year later, seeing my own pride there in black and white, and it made me laugh a little.

That was the first and last time Thomas sat unsupported, and I'm not even upset about it.

If you'd told me a year ago that he wouldn't do it again I'd have been pretty upset.

But today I can look back and see that although his development didn't go the way I wanted it to on that April day in 2018, he has still come a very long way.

Thomas has learned how to move himself around the floor of his home.

He can now confidently and easily roll from front to back and back to front.

And the real biggy, he has finally found a method of communication that works for him and we've made enormous strides in that area.

As an aside, he also enjoyed a prolonged period of good health and weight gain.

I can see he has come forward so much in the last year, I am not in any way disappointed that as yet he has not mastered sitting unsupported.

I know very well that should sitting become important to Thomas he will no doubt find a way to make it work for him.

But also, I have come forward so much in the last year, I have gained new levels of acceptance of Thomas's disability which allows me to set our sights on more achievable goals and the unsurpassed joy of watching him fulfill them.

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