One step at a time


Avery takes steps, now, when he’s feeling brave. I write about how long we waited for this milestone, and what it taught me about Avery, and myself, in the “Off the Beaten Path” column now up at

11 thoughts on “One step at a time

  1. Jennifer,

    I read your book when my little boy was 3 months old. It was given to me as a gift and it was the first thing I read on or about Down syndrome. I loved it! You wrote so beautiful, and I always imagined you were a friend of mine. Now my little boy is 2.5 years old. Sometimes things seem harder now than they were for me then. I found the wonderful world of blogs about a year ago and lately I realized that maybe it is not the best for me if I only read blogs of mother’s who do not have special needs children because in some areas I have a harder time relating to them. So I remembered your blog address from the book and I have been enjoying reading through your archives. I would love to meet you and your family one day! Thank you for leaving up your blog posts, they provide so much comfort and encouragement.

  2. I share so many of your thoughts. I was distraught when Joe didn’t walk at 18 months, or 24 months…. Once he was walking, I quickly switched to the next milestone he was “missing.” It finally occurred to me that I needed to spend less time lecturing other people about accepting Joe and more time, well, accepting Joe.

    Great post!


  3. Lovely, Jennifer.

    We visit brand new parents who have babies just diagnosed with Down syndrome.

    I am amazed at how many of them say – ‘look, he just has a little bit of Down syndrome’, or ‘you cannot tell at all!’

    It may sound funny, but this denial is a very effective coping mechanism that helps shield parents until they are ready to see what they need to see…

  4. I love your writing too 🙂 I think it is wonderful that you have all of these different outlets that you can contibute your articles too – what a great way to get the word out and be an advocate in a subtle way!

  5. I remember when I was a new mother to Avery, I read the growth and development charts adjusted for children with Down syndrome. In my mind, I put Avery at the top of the class. He would do everything early for a child with Down syndrome, which as it happens, is very close to the ages typically developing children do things. Without even realizing it, I was willing Avery to be “normal.”

    I can not tell you enough how much I thought the exact same things! I felt guilty for looking at those books and thinking “Well at least Jaden will always fall into the normal range and we won’t have to deal with all those delays”. Now, I just want to slap myself at the thoughts I used to have. It’s amazing what coping mechanisms we use to justify things to ourselves, isn’t it? When I read what you write, it reminds me that we are all so similar in our feelings and experiences. It’s almost as if your experience is mine, and mine is yours. It’s in this Universal Experience that I am comforted in knowing there are so many like me, whom I may never meet, yet I will always know so well!

    Thanks for writing another beautiful piece Jennifer!

  6. what a great read.. and yeah for avery!! i have now learned that my mayson will too do things at her own pace and iam just fine with that!!!

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