One thing that I think is really challenging for me is having to explain to my daughters about their brothers’ challenges. Donnie and I are still trying to learn our sons, so we can only give them as much information as we know.
I don’t like to Google specific behaviors and decide if they are specific to my sons. Everything that you find will be textbook anyway. I want to know my sons individually. I want to know how they learn. I want to know how they cope. I want to know what makes them mad. I want to know what soothes them. I know who my kids are, but their behaviors constantly change.
It took me awhile to realize that I need to be considerate to the feelings of all of my children. As a parent, I need to have compassion for my children who have special needs and my children who don’t have special needs.
I try explain to my daughters all of the time about what is going on with their brothers. Jessica is too young to understand. She treats Julian and Joshua like her children, and is best friends with Avery. She’s so cute. Ariana and Amariyah understand some things, but their understanding doesn’t stop them from asking a lot of questions or being concerned.
Their understanding also doesn’t make them exempt from frustration. The other day, Julian had several meltdowns. That’s pretty normal for him. He then proceeded to go into Ariana’s room and smash her piggy bank.
My first reaction was shock. I mean, if you hear ceramic break, it’s pretty startling. When Ariana realized that her piggy bank was destroyed, she was livid. I immediately became irritated with Ariana because in that moment, I expected her to be sympathetic to her brother’s feelings.
Julian, Joshua, and Avery have destroyed a lot of property out of anger, excitement, pica, and curiously.
I had to have a “come to Jesus” moment. Ariana is 12 years old. She is a moody, emotional, pre-teen. She is also in that annoying phase. It’s a lot to ask a child not to get mad at their siblings, but it’s a bigger feat to ask them to be understanding towards their autistic siblings.
It’s a lot to ask a child to understand why we can’t attend certain events. It’s a lot to ask a child to understand why we can’t stay anywhere for too long. It’s a lot to ask a child to understand why these behaviors are normal for their sibling(s). It’s a lot to explain that our children with special needs require more attention.
I always have a moment when I need to check myself. Itself not just hard on me. It’s not about my husband or myself. This is about our children.
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