When I first met Abby and her father, I was told that she was Developmentally Disabled. At that time, I really had no idea what raising a child with a Developmental Disability entailed. Within the first few weeks I realized that this was going to be quite a task, but I had already fallen in love with Abby and I had vowed to never give up. Today, I feel the same way. I still love Abby as if she is my own daughter. I will never give p on pushing her to do her best in everything life throws her way.
Here is a quick overview. Abby is 11 years old. Her developmental disability means her mind is more like a 6 or 7 year old. Her body, however, is like a 15 year old.
Abby started developing breasts and growing hair in “weird” places almost 2 years ago. Now 2 years ago, Abby’s mentality was even younger than that of a 7 year old….more like a 5 year old. How do you explain to a 5 year old why she is growing hair in strange places? How do you explain to a 5 year old that her body could start bleeding at any time? Well, Abby has now reached that final stage. With her mentality a little bit older we can use slightly bigger words. It is still quite difficult for her 7 year old mind to comprehend. I thought it was a lot for me to understand and I didn’t start until I as 13 years old.
I have recently purchased a book for Abby and I to go through together. “Girl Stuff: A Survival Guide to Growing Up” by Margaret Blackstone and Elissa Haden Guest has become our new girl time subject. As we are going through this book together, I am realizing the timing couldn’t be more perfect. Abby is already “learning” a lot from girls at school. Quite the scary though there. Some of the things she is hearing has me laughing a little bit. One the other hand, some of the things also make me remember that I used to think those things too.
Did you know that a woman just sits on the toilet and poops out her baby? She has to do this because the baby is in her stomach with all her food. 🙂
Did you know that the guy has to put the baby in the woman’s stomach through her butt? 🙂
All laughing aside though, some of the things being said by her friends actually have me a little concerned. I made sure that Abby understands that what we read in this book is he fact….meaning it is true. Most likely, what her friends say is not true. She has promised me that whenever she hears something at school she will talk to me before believing it and repeating it.
With all the difficulties I face trying to teach Abby on how to be the young woman her body says she is, I am enjoying spending such quality time with her. I wouldn’t change a things about her. I love Abby with all my heart and I always will.