Thursday, February 23, 2012
Backed into a corner
To be backed into a corner is often considered a negative, but in Leo's case it means we are moving in the right direction. Leo is starting to crawl- at least backwards. Today, Leo backwards crawled himself into a corner and then cried out for help. Two successes- he crawled (backwards) and cried for help! I say we are moving in the right direction.
So often I feel like we are ignorant to what it means to raise a child with special needs or at the very least a child with WHS. I think it may be different (in some cases) when you birth a child with special needs especially if you know before the birth what the special needs is. You research, you read everything you can about the condition, you talk to specialists, you prepare, you learn, you keep learning after birth, you fight for your child's rights. You grow in your knowledge and expertise as your child grows. Jeremy and I are learning how much we really do not know about raising a child with extensive special needs. Leo came to live with us at 13 months -so we were already 13 months behind in learning. I often with ask our therapists about something I read on someones blog (someone who clearly knows what they are doing) and ask if Leo should have that or if we should be doing that with him. The thing is each child special needs or not is different and needs different things.
In a way this can be good. We treat Leo like we treat our other kids. I expect him to learn to eat (although I am continually being reminded by our therapist that it is going to be a LONG process). I expect Leo to crawl and eventually learn to walk. We have a lot to learn about raising a child with special needs, but I think sometimes our ignorance allows us to push Leo farther then we would if we truly knew and fully accepted all of his limitations. It is finding that balance between pushing too hard and discovering when adaptations are truly needed.
Reality hits me with how far Leo is behind when I walk past the nursery window and see kids his age walking, playing, and "talking". I have to continually remind myself not to compare. I can't compare. The bottom line- Leo is progressing. And so we rejoice when Leo once again backs himself into a corner.