Monday, June 28, 2010

Little Caretaker

Maya, age 1, feeding her baby

Maya, age 2, "changing" her baby's diaper

My 2 year old daughter Maya has shown a strong maternal instinct since she could move. As soon as she had the ability to manuveur her arms and legs, she would feed spoon and bottle feed her dolls and stuffed animals. She now loves to "change" their diapers as well. She gets out her mini changing pad and lies each one down. Then she gets a baby wipe to wipe them and she tells me they have "tiny poo".

recently she has transferred some of this caretaking behavior to Sam. It both warms my heart and makes me sad. If he is crying, she gets a tissue and wipes his face saying, "Sam crying". She will hold the tissue to his nose and say, "blow". A couple of days ago I caught her in the bathroom with Sam trying to wipe him (Ew?). SHe could only reach his back so she was rubbing the toilet paper up and down his back. I finished the job for her and when he got up she said, "good job Sam". When Sam come in she sits down next to him and tries to help pull his shoes off.

It is foolish to think children don't notice difference. Maya has clearly noticed that Sam is different. SHe recognizes that at 5 he needs much more help on things than she does at 2. She also know his behvaior is different. Sometimes she imitates his stims - dropping a straw and flapping her arms while saying, "oooooooh". The difference of course is that she is fully aware that this is an imitation. Her pleasure from this behavior is just that she is copying her brother - there is no other neurological reward. SHe notices the differences but they just don't matter to her - yet.

Even though Maya is only 2, it makes me happy to know that she loves him and "gets" him. I expect that there will be a period of time when she resents him or, perhaps, is embarrassed by him. I won't fault her for that. He is a tough brother to have. I feel a little sad for her. Ultimately though, I hope the caretaker in her will overcome any bad feelings. I think this is why I really want her to have another sibling. She shouldn't have to be a caretaker alone.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I had Sam's IEP meeting last week. It went pretty well. I got something I wanted - Sam's parent training hours (his home program) will be switched to ABA hours so that hopefully Sam can generalize better. We are still in "disput" over whether Sam be with a 1-1 aide next year or in a 2-1 set-up (2 kids with 1 aide). I am 100% sure that Sam requires a 1-1 aide in order to make ANY progress but the program automatically switched them at primary level. We (the teacher) have to take "data" to demonstrate Sam needs to remain in a 1-1 situation.