Many years ago I was told that she had plateaued. I was told that certain skills can be developed within the scope of her IQ but that she was likely to stay in the same area of ‘development’.
Imagine my surprise when within the last three months she has learned to pony tail her hair, found a fondness for handsome movie stars like Brad Pitt, and has decided her wedding dress will be leopard print. In fact, her entire wedding will be animal theme, “minus the flowers of course”.
I have cycled back within the reality, and sometimes the grief, that the developmental delay is exactly that. A delay in development. So her childlike abilities and interests are slowly emerging into a pre-teen area of inquiries. Being that she is nearly twenty-one years old it makes me wonder what other new skills and interests are about to breakthrough. I often ask myself what she may be like in her 30’s, 40’s and so on.
It is not like her living skills have emerged, but rather her interests and her awareness. Yet, the executive functioning of everyday tasks remain–and likely will always remain–delayed if not non-existent. While this is all exciting and sometimes incredibly entertaining, it is also a reminder.
While she is having breakthroughs in development, I find myself between celebration and sadness.
Catching a peek at her iPad, I saw that she had googled how babies are born. It felt like a punch in my stomach. Is she attempting to process that she cannot have children? Will she be able to ever express her feeling around that? How do I support her in this grief process?
Observing her with her constant stack of coloring books and knowing she is curious about bigger picture things, I see she is within two worlds. One she is comfortable in and one she is interested in.