‘Aadisha amazes me in every session. I have never seen a 3-year-old with Down syndrome with this level of gross motor skills.’ Hearing these words from her physiotherapist was so fulfilling.
We got a postnatal diagnosis for Aadisha. I will never forget that appointment with Aadisha’s paediatrician within first few days of her birth. ‘Since she was very floppy and had some distinct features, we sent her blood sample for genetic testing. I am sorry, she has Down syndrome’. The paediatrician continued to explain the consequences of the condition but all we could see was his moving lips as the whole world seemed to crash on us at that very moment.
It took us some time but when the acceptance came, we forgot about the diagnosis and all we saw was the most beautiful gift of life. After thorough research, we learnt about people with Down syndrome who have achieved great feats in their lives. At the same time, we also realised that there are neuro-typical kids who may not achieve their best potential. Our perception changed, and the goal became to work on everything that she can and will do (not on what she cannot do) – to support Aadisha to reach her best! The family support during this period was pivotal.
The journey so far has not been easy – there have been countless sessions of early intervention and therapies. Aadisha sat independently around six months of age but was struck with infantile spasms around that time. This was a huge setback, but then she fought back to recover herself in the next few months and started walking when she was 19 months old.
Instead of holding her back and being protective, we set Aadisha free like any other kid and were right behind her to support when she needed help. She started childcare since she was one year old and loves to be around her peers. Her carers say she is one of the cheekiest but a passionate girl who is everyone’s best friend. She has been called the ‘life of the classroom’ multiple times.
Fast forward three years, Aadisha still attends regular therapies along with weekly swimming lessons and gymnastics. She has already earned her first medal for outstanding performance in junior gymnastics, learned a few tricks in the swimming pool and this is just the beginning! She has worked very hard to be where she is now and impresses us every day with her persistence, energy and positive attitude. We could not be prouder of how she has challenged the speculations thrown at her due a medical diagnosis!