Sunday, November 22, 2009

A new perspective

As per my last post, my husband and I took Ben to a rehab center 1.5 hours away for 3 days of assessment. Well, this was the first time that the boys have been separated for more than an hour or two in their whole 26 months of life. So for us, this was the first time spending a huge chunk of time with just one child.

It certainly gave me some much-needed perspective on Ben and his abilities. I remember last year when we first had Ben's diagnosis and I spent numerous hours online reading blogs of other mom's with a special needs child. In particular I remember reading one blog (I have no idea which blog this was now) where the couple only had one child. So when they would go out in public or socialize with other families, they would have a very hard time when they would see other children the same age as their special needs child. Since at home, they had no one to compare their child to, they didn't realize how behind their child really was. So when they saw other typically-developing children, it would come as quite a shock to see what a typical 18-month old (for example) was able to do.

I remember thinking that we didn't have this problem since Ben is a twin and Daniel was showing us every day what a typically-developing child Ben's age was able to do . So it was never a shock to go out into public or see other kids.

What I didn't realize (until this week) was that this was causing me to mainly see what Ben CAN'T do versus what he CAN do. As I would watch Daniel and Ben play and interact with their world, I was (and still am) constantly reminded of all that Ben is unable to do.

This week as multiple people threw a crazy amount of tests at my child, I realized how much he CAN do. It completely amazed me to watch him do task after task and succeed at things that I had no idea he could do. I didn't know that he knew the difference between big and small. I didn't know that he could make-believe a spoon was a comb and "brush" the baby's hair. I didn't know that he knew the difference between boys and girls.

Of course, I am grateful that Ben has a twin in Daniel. Daniel is constantly modelling for Ben and I know that Ben is further ahead because of it. Daniel has shown Ben how to crawl and get up and down stairs. Daniel is a constant teaching tool for Ben. But more importantly, he is a friend and playmate.

But hopefully I've learned a lesson in this. I've never really compared my least not consciously...but I hope as we move forward I can learn to look at Ben with new eyes and see all that he CAN do and not what he can't.


  1. You know, Charlie is non-verbal so there are all sorts of things that he knows, but that I don't know he knows. For example, one day we were working on colors and he was picking things up veeery quickly. Like he probably already knew it quickly. As a parent of a special needs child, I spend a lot of time thinking about what he CAN'T do and forget to notice what he CAN do.

  2. This is a really beautiful post, caryanne.