Thursday, October 8, 2009

Twins are 2 Separate People (venting some personal frustrations)

That is something that is hard for almost everyone to remember. Parents often know better as they see all the differences in their own children, but even then it can be easy to forget. I think it's harder when twins are identical or same gender than in my case with a boy and a girl, but it's still easy to lump them together and think of them as one. They are still 2 separate individuals that shared womb-space and were born on the same day. Sometimes I have to remind myself of that.

I have been so happy lately with the progress that Rachel's been making since the middle of the summer. She is happy. She really likes to play and do things (even though they may not always be appropriate games or be age appropriate in other ways). She laughs more. She's often smiling. She's really starting to get a firm grasp on language (even though her vocabulary is still limited and is slow to grow). She LOVES to torment her older brother by taking his toys and then running with them. Well, that last one may not be one of her more endearing trends, but at least it's NORMAL. And I LOVE to spend time with her.

Simon is, well, Simon. He wants to be left alone. He wants to get lost playing with a toy, usually in a non-productive way. He doesn't like seeing anything change. He reacts badly when he sees a stationary banner on the television screen (like the channel bug appear in the corner or the title of the program splash by). He's gotten physical (and he's a BIG kid). And he talks, but he says things he's heard before (very echolalic). I'm not sure what if anything he comprehends -- his true vocabulary is probably only about 15 words. And this has been true for MONTHS. In some ways things seem to get worse as he's getting bigger and stronger.

How can I NOT compare these 2? They are going through the same basic things at the same time. And not only are they both on the spectrum -- they share the same diagnosis (which is devastating all by itself). They are enrolled in the same program (but getting different services). I'm supposed to treat them the same, but they are TOTALLY DIFFERENT!!!!! It's frustrating and insane and I often just don't know what to do!!!!!!!

This has been really bad lately, and I think that last sentence in my paragraph about Rachel says it all. The time I spend with her is enjoyed by both of us and is rarely a struggle. With Simon, I have to fight to get into his world and to keep his attention. There are so many times where I just feel like I take the easy way out and just let him do what he wants and spend that time with Rachel. He is apparently happier. Rachel is happier because she gets my attention. And then the older one wants the attention too, and he'll take whatever is left (if he didn't take over from the beginning). However, that's not helping any of us.

Right now I just wish I knew what it was I am supposed to do.

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