Because my son has Down syndrome, does it mean he does not go through the same developmental phases as everyone else? No. He did not escape teething, the terrible two’s, or the anxiety of the first day of school. He now must go through adolescence and experience all that that has to offer.
I must say, he seems to have passed through much of it unscathed. He has the occasional attitude. When I press for info or am overly protective, I get the suppression of the eye roll and the sigh of exasperation. He does not, however, seem to suffer from the extreme self consciousness of many teens. Rather, he seems to enjoy some limelight and to be fairly self confident.
What does he enjoy? Playing basketball is a passion. He plays alone or shoots with whoever happens to be around at the fitness club that he walks to. He loves any sport (especially soccer, baseball, and ping pong) and enjoys winning at board games and card games. He likes tv, action movies (and any movie), and watching football. He has long enjoyed writing stories and now does it on his laptop. He is better at anything on Wii Sports than any of us and has lately grown very fond of Wii Fitness, coaching all of us on its finer points.
One of his favorite activities that he enjoys with his dad is playing Rock Band. The feeling is mutual; his dad can pretend fame right along with his son and they can learn songs together. Dad does guitar while N plays drums. They learn and master songs, go on to others, then get a new CD. Just today I heard N playing one of their favorites in his room -- “Long Time” by Boston. Loudly. It made me smile to think that this familiar rite of passage has not escaped him either.