When it comes to little bear there are few items that tend to fall in the "treat this as a typical baby" category. Since Sonzee entered our lives, the decisions we have had to make have required an intense amount of deliberation and reevaluation to ensure the best answer was reached. The topics tend to revolve around medications, feeding, pretty much everything that would involve keeping a child alive and giving her the best chance at living healthily. Now that thankfully she is growing and thriving, we are actually being faced with the more typical baby/toddler dilemmas. In turn, I recently realized (as in yesterday) that due to this way of thinking that we have been forced into, I still treat each item regardless of its importance in the same manner.
One of the more challenging things for me has been how I treat Sonzee as far as her cognitive capabilities. Her body size and what she is capable of expressively has always been significantly younger than what her actual age is. To give you a good idea, if I had to give her physical capabilities a respective age, I would say she is around 3-4 months old. This is tricky on my brain, as I have to remember that she is actually 18 months old, and if you asked me what her cognitive age is, I would say it is definitely close if not right around 18 months old. I know she understands what we say, and I know her challenges come from trying to express that to us. She may not be able to control her body in the manner she wishes, but she knows what she wants and what she does not want and she does very typical 18-month-old things.
My problem is that because of this challenge I tend to overthink everything I do when it comes to her instead of treating her like I would if she were a typical 18 month old. It is so hard for me to give her a consequence for her actions because what if I am wrong? What if she doesn't understand when I think she does? She demonstrates daily what she understands. Yesterday specifically she was lying on her tummy, I referred to her tushy, and she wiggled it. If I talk about her feet, she will attempt to grab for them. I think this one of those gray areas of special needs parenting that I am going to need finagle my way through. The best part of this...it is no different from being a parent of a typical kiddo.
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