Wednesday, November 25, 2009

On Demand


Our kids have become, how shall I say this, demanding. Put it this way: if you walked in on Jada shooting bullets at my feet and screaming, "Dance," it would not be far from our reality.

Amy and I are steeling our collective resolve to redirect these sentiments: "Aaron, that's not how you ask," "Jada, you need to say 'excuse me, please,'" and so on. But it can alternately maddening and hilarious when Aaron acts like a spoiled rich kid and orders me to pick up his toy car that he has dropped from the kitchen table, or when Jada insists that I repeat an exact sequence of words and sounds in response to a comment she has made.

Of course, our children’s specific developmental delays are at play here. Aaron’s stubbornness and temper cause him to frequently not take no for an answer, resulting in him turning into a crumpled heap, and one or both of us getting our dander up. Jada’s echolalia causes her, when she says something and expects a certain response, to repeat her statement in perpetuity.

In response, Amy and I are trying desperately to find a place of calm and consistency when every fiber of our being screams out to, well, scream. Some day, they'll learn not to be this way . . . if Amy and I will only survive long enough to teach them. Whether our children’s behavior is age-appropriate or the function of their present dysfunction, it continues most every day, and some days we can only laugh if only to not cry. If laughter is the best medicine, we’ve taken a lot of that lately.
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