When my daughter Zoe was a toddler, she didn’t spend her days spreading out her toys and playing on our cool tile floor , or toddling around clutching her favorite doll with sticky juice hands like her big sister Olivia did.
Instead, Zoe preferred to cuddle for comfort. Her speech didn’t develop until late so I spent a lot of time trying to interpret her sound and movement, solicit a response, and get to know my little one, trying to discern what made her happy and what was making her hurt.
Zoe was 3 years old when she was finally diagnosed, when we learned she would never walk by herself. She was 4 when we learned she may eventually lose her vision, and when she was 5 she experienced a stroke like event- yet through it all, when she wasn’t sick, Zoe has been a pretty happy, smiling kid.