Monday, February 2, 2015

Down Syndrome and Growth

I was told from the beginning that people who have Down syndrome are shorter than the average person. In fact, at well child visits we always had a different growth chart to compare their growth to. Gess was usually on the upper end of the DS growth chart and sometimes on the lower end of the average growth chart so I figured she would be pretty tall. However, what they failed to tell me was that not only are people who have DS shorter, they stop growing before everyone else too.

It wasn't until the last few years that I noticed a difference in Gess' height. Her peers have really taken off in growth and she has remained stagnant. This week we visited a specialist to find that this is absolutely normal for a person with DS.

Gess is 13 and has been through puberty. A female generally stops growing within 2 years of starting their cycle and for Gess it was probably more like one. They took x-rays of her growth plates and they showed an age of 15 although she had just turned 13 at the time. They were also completely closed which means she is done growing. She is now 4' 8" tall.

It really doesn't bother me that she will have short stature. I could care less how tall she is as long as she is healthy. It just took me by surprise is all. I knew she would be shorter, but I wish someone would have told me she might stop growing sooner too. It would have given me one less thing to worry about.

Now my only concern is her wardrobe. The poor girl is stuck between x large kids clothes and the smallest items in the junior miss departments. Now I can see why people are coming out with special Down syndrome clothing lines. While she is 13 these fashions are fine, but when she is 33 she will want something more grown up looking!  To find something modest is already an issue and to find something modest and mature will be quite the challenge.

In the meantime I am really enjoying watching my little grow up! Oh, her growth plates may be closed but she will still develop maturity, insight, reason, and love. There is so much to teach her and she is like a sponge soaking it all up! 

While we were out of town for our appointment we went out to lunch. Here is my girl who is 13 going on 30 no matter how tall she is!! I wouldn't have wanted to have lunch with any one else in the world! She is not only my little girl, she is becoming my very best friend.


1 comment:

Tonya said...

I had to come to terms with this as well. I so understand everything that you are saying.

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