Is raising a child with special needs different than a typical child? I've gotten this question serval times. I'm sure more people wonder but don't ask. I've been writing the post in my head for months now. So I'm finally gonna write it here.
My answer is Yes and No.
I really dont see my boys as different than any other set of siblings. They are alot alike and alot different than each other. As I sit here watching my baby ( who's not a baby anymore) sleeping on the couch, I think about the differences in raising him and his brother. Both were easy babies. No health problems other than being lactosintolerant. Both came home with me from the hospital.
(This is were I have to pull out the baby books).
Both were sleeping throught the night and had their 1st smiles around 1 month old. Alex laughted at 2 months and Eian at 3 months. Alex rolled over at 4 months and Eian at 2 1/2 months. Alex sat alone at 6 months and Eian did at 8 months. Alex crawled at 8 months and Eian at 10 months. Alex stood at 9 months and walked at 9 1/2 months. Eian stood at 10 1/2 months but didnt walk til he was 16 months. Alex waved bye-bye at 8 months and Eian didn't until he was 17 months old. Alex's 1st word was at 5 months and Eian's at 8 1/2 months.You can see that for the most part Eian wasn't too far behind his brother in hitting milestones. Eian did have to work harder to hit them where they just happened for Alex.
At 2 years old, Eian's not as verbal as most kids his age. But he's pretty good at letting you know what he wants. Don't get me wrong Eian talks and can talk up a storm and say anything he wants(some things he shouldn't) but only when Eian wants to. He won't say a word if he doesn't want too. At 2 years old Alex wouldn't shut up, and still won't.
With having a special needs child I've met more doctors and specialist than I ever did with my "typical" child. Eian does 2 hours of therapy a week (1hr OT & 1hr ST) and an hour of Early intervention a week at home. Alex has been in pre-k since age 3 so he didn't feel left out. That year and a half of pre-k has done a wonder of good for Alex. Next year Eian will enter pre-k.
Do you treat them the same? Is the next question I get. Why yes I do. They both get dispilned, they both go and do things. I don't go anywhere with 1 that I wouldn't take the other. Joe wrestles with Eian just like he does with Alex. I do think in some ways I treat Eian a little different but it's only because it can't be helped. Like the bottle at 2 years old Eian is still on the bottle 24/7. I took it waya from Alex shortly after his 1st birthday and I would have Eian too but he's still not able to control his suck. So if he drinks from a sippy cup or a nipple that isn't slow flow he chokes and leaks all over himself. Now we do work with a sippy cup and he's getting better but still nowhere near going full time with one. My goal had been 1st of the year but with his T & A coming up on the 11th I'm not even gonna go there. I had thought that I would have him off before Will gets here in April but I'm not gonna push that either. He's gonna have enough adjustment issues with a new baby as it is.
What I'm trying to say(take my post how you want) I love my boys just the same, and I would not change either one of them. Alex made me a mother which is what I had always dreamed of. Eian made me a better mother and a better person. I have learned to enjoy everyday and celebrate every little milestone. Even taking off the socks that now I wish he hadn't ever learned lol.
My wish for Will is for him to be just as happy and healthy as both his brothers, with and without Down syndrome.