As most of you know, our son has autism. Since his diagnosis almost 3 years ago, my husband and I have poured ourselves into getting Sam every intervention and therapy on the face of Earth. I took classes and learned to do some of his therapies, took classes on how to deal with behaviors of Autism, etc. If there was a class, or a scientific study, or a research available, I learned it and tried it. I'm proud to say that our intense intervention with Sam has paid off in leaps and bounds. He's happy, he's thriving, and life is pretty good right now.
I forget sometimes that we have a younger daughter too. We've spent so much time and effort getting Sam the early intervention to thrive in the future, that we haven't done a whole lot to make sure our daughter thrives, too. I can't remember the last time I got the flashcards out to teach Sloane. The letter puzzles got tossed in our move. Where are the BOB books? Who knows.
This became blatantly apparent this morning as Sloane and I were practicing our alphabet. She is still not recognizing all of the letters, and sometimes we have trouble with counting. I am feeling like a total slacker mom right now! Sam could do all of this stuff by her age! I feel like I've failed her.
But then I remember the things that she can do that her brother can't. She can diffuse a situation using big, adult words and not the words that most 4 year olds use. She shows a compassion for her brother. She understands him without having to ask what is wrong. She drags him along with her and insists that he participates in whatever group activity is going on. She pushes Sam to be social. She can get herself dressed and brush her own hair and brush her own teeth. She is pretty much amazing.
So, yes. My daughter is 4 and stares blankly at the letter T. But you can teach letters in school. Compassion, on the other hand, is something that isn't easily taught. Perhaps I've done a better job with her than I think I have.
(and yeah, I'm going to start doing a better job of having a preschool hour in the house. Just sayin', some things are way more important).