Wednesday, October 29, 2008

She's different.

It's becoming more and more apparent that Lainie isn't up with her peers, speech-speaking. It's to the point that other people are noticing now, even if she isn't signing to us. I don't know how I feel about that. I mean, we knew it was coming, and I've noticed it for awhile. I'm prepared for it; I don't know if DH is. Sometimes I think he still thinks everything is just fine.

Some days she's really cooperative. She loves watching videos that have sign language in them. We watched one about Halloween ( and she immediately applied the signs. When we read Halloween books before bedtime, she did the sign for Halloween (with a "how-ho-heee") and jack-o-lantern ("jaa-oo-laaa") and candy ("an-dee"). But then, she did a lot of "eh-eh-eh"ing yesterday, even when she had the word and sign for what she wanted. Maybe she's just being a two-year-old?

But, I'm having a lot of trouble teaching her big and little when she doesn't have the words. Or her colors. She'll sign them with prompting, but can't point to the red one versus the blue one. (I need to look it up and see what she's supposed to be able to do at 30 months.) I mean, who cares what color a heart is, when you're still waiting to hear "I Love You, Mommy"? She can't say I love you, but she can say "Daddy did it" and "Meanie Mommy" thanks to her sisters' influence.

Then, I also wonder if I'm just super-paranoid. I mean, did I track K and M's development this closely? I think the answer is yes, but their delays were still in acceptable range of normal and were all in motor skills, and for some reason people don't associate intelligence and motor skills. ("Wow! Look at that toddler jump! He's going to be a genius!") I mean, honestly, our society associates speech, both lack thereof or speech impediments, as a sign of intelligence. That probably bothers me more than anything. That, and the fear that she is going to fall behind her peers, because she can't talk to us or that any talking she does do, requires so much effort on her part.

I heard a story of a husband whose wife was diagnosed with Alzheimers. He said that a great peace settled over the entire family once they recognized that his wife was working at full capacity, and that she was only capable of xx now. They stopped getting angry at her, expecting more, thinking she wasn't trying.

As parents, I feel it is partly our responsibility to push our kids, to get them to try harder. But, only to their capacity. I accepted a long time ago (probably before they were born) that my kids weren't going to college on athletic scholarships. That is beyond their capacity. :D Both K and M have already surpassed my expectations for them, academically. So, how do I adjust my expectations to meet Lainie's capacity? Am I expecting too much, or pushing her to improve? Where is the balance?

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